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#321: Marc brings a deeply philosophical question to the team: Are we capable of change? We touch on media examples of role models we strive to emulate and the lived experiences (read: parents) that shape our thoughts and behaviors. Compassion and introspection help us to create the changes we want to see.
Josué Cardona 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network here Geek Therapy. We believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves through the media we care about, my name is JosuéCardona. And I’m joined by link Keller.
Link Keller 0:22
Josué Cardona 0:24
Lara Taylor 0:25
Josué Cardona 0:26
Marc Cuiriz 0:27
Josué Cardona 0:28
Marc, it is your turn this week
Marc Cuiriz 0:32
it is my turn. Okay. Yeah, so it for this one. And I posted this a lot in the discord very, very briefly where I said, I think I’m having an existential crisis. So I kind of wanted to hear your guys’s opinions on this,
Lara Taylor 0:46
we have an existential crisis on the show, like every week,
Marc Cuiriz 0:50
that is true,
Lara Taylor 0:51
you’re in the right place.
Marc Cuiriz 0:53
After all, 300 of them, I am well versed in your existential crises. So this came up in my last therapy session, where I was talking about the ideas of change, because you know, growing up, dealing with all the crap I’ve had to go through, I’ve always made the conscious choices to be the exact opposite of what I grew up with. So instead of like hiding my emotions, I chose to openly show them and let them be seen, instead of being closed off or aggressive. I was calm and kind and empathetic, and so on and so forth. But now, as I’m getting older, I’m sort of realizing that I’m kind of falling into patterns that I’ve seen before. You know, growing up, and I was like, the question that came up was, are we as people and humans really like blank canvases where we can choose to change and create ourselves, however we so choose? Or is there some sort of like, pre determined behaviors that we kind of learn, as you know, we’re babbies and into young children, that no matter how hard we try to change those things, or better them or in whatever the case is, there are still hints of those always going to let that are always going to kind of shine through and kind of be seen and it’s just something that’s like, you’re kind of stuck with.
Josué Cardona 2:26
Welcome to GT Radio we’re getting philosophical here.
Marc Cuiriz 2:32
Lara Taylor 2:32
not a tough question at all, Mark,
Josué Cardona 2:35
nature versus nurture. I will I will share that. I too, have been motivated throughout my entire life by what I call negative role models. I don’t know if that’s the I don’t think that’s like the correct term. But that’s what I’ve always called them. So I’ve tried to be the opposite of a bunch of people.
Link Keller 3:00
anti role model?
Josué Cardona 3:01
Link Keller 3:02
anti role model role anti model. Something there
Lara Taylor 3:07
yeah, yeah, yeah.
Josué Cardona 3:09
A Roll away? model? I don’t know, but but I’ve used that term, a lot.
Lara Taylor 3:17
a nat one model.
Josué Cardona 3:20
But But I too, have learned that I am more like some of those people than I thought. And it is it was not a happy realization at all. I mean, I’ve always I’ve always looked to fictional characters as as role models. Those have always been in my real life. I’ve never had, you know, like, people close to me who I felt were role models. And I Yeah, yeah, no, I’m those are My initial thoughts while I sit over here in this corner process a bit somebody else talk.
Lara Taylor 4:05
My initial thought is that I think is a combination of both right? We can change where I’m a therapist, I think people can change otherwise, why bother? If you’re going with that painting metaphor, maybe we’re not a blank canvas, maybe someone painted an oil painting and the oil is still malleable, and we can move it around and change it and make it different, it can look different. But those things are still there and influence us whether we like it or not. I don’t know that. That’s my thought.
Lara Taylor 4:42
Link Keller 4:52
I also come from a background of having people close to me that I um especially as a teenager was very vehemently, like, that’s what not to do, I’m going to do whatever that is not. And I have coped with moments in my life where realizations that when you are in novel situations, you don’t have a lot of time to think about stuff. And you react in the moment. And you realize that that reaction is based off of that playbook that you didn’t want to use. But that’s the playbook that you had. And it takes a lot of introspection to be able to recognize when that is happening in the moment. I don’t know if I’m very good at it is something you know, I think that that’s probably a lifelong training thing. But people people are capable of change, I would say that firmly people are capable of change. I think even when we are recreating behaviors, that because the context of our own life is different, that the behaviors are different because of that context. Now, it can have outcomes that are positive or negative, mixed bag, usually mixed bag. But I think it is so important to remember that the context matters, that even if you are recreating shitty behaviors of your parents, like that was in the 90s 80s 70s. It’s like now we’re now and that’s
Lara Taylor 6:48
just to be clear, no one here was alive in the 70s,
Link Keller 6:51
I was talking about our parents,
Lara Taylor 6:53
Josué Cardona 6:59
Lara, you weren’t?
Lara Taylor 6:59
I am a month older than you stop it. I’m gonna keep defending myself. Because Josué called me old last week.
Link Keller 7:07
I think honestly, one of the big reframing moments for me was realizing that a lot of the stuff it’s the same is the same for our parents, right, that they did things that they swore to themselves that they would never do, because their parents did it to them. And you just unconsciously you do it, you pass it on, you express anger at a situation that really doesn’t require anger, because that’s the shorthand that you learned from your dad. Really showing myself there. But I think
Josué Cardona 7:45
Lara Taylor 7:47
Link Keller 7:49
I think having that realization of like, this happens to literally everybody really helped me be more compassionate towards myself, which that compassion gives space for me to actually have that moment of introspection, and, you know, next time be able to be like, oh, oh, I’m getting that feeling right now that I’m about to do something that is based in, in the past, and it doesn’t need to be I can, I can take this moment and change, I can do something different, I can make a different choice. But it definitely it took a lot of years and a lot of really trying to see specifically parents as real, multifaceted people who have all the same bullshit from their history that affects who they are currently. And that is, that is me, that is my parents, those my grandparents, as their parents we are all just doing our best
Lara Taylor 8:54
Abuela and the Madrigals
Link Keller 8:56
absolutely great example right there.
Josué Cardona 9:01
Marc, are we are we? I know. I think there’s two different things, right. And I said, nature versus nurture at the beginning and kind of we’re talking about our parents and the playbook that I like the way you said that. Link, it’s like, it’s the one we have. So like, you know, what else were we gonna do? But I think that that’s, that it’s not necessarily this this same, like it can be separated from just the idea of, of change, like behavior change, belief change, you know, there’s so many things that you you you can change so I’m curious if you’re, you’re coming at it from from like struggling to change particular behaviors or aspects of your life that you feel are maybe difficult because of the way you were brought up and then or, or Are you thinking like, it’s more? Like, oh, I’m programmed this way. I mean, what am I gonna do? Like that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s the that’s how I was coded when I was when I was born. So like, where do you want to go with this? And kind of where are you now?
Marc Cuiriz 10:16
Yeah, well, I mean, I think what the way what the way Link was saying everything, it kind of made me have some sort of realization moments.
Josué Cardona 10:24
Marc Cuiriz 10:24
Because with the playbook with the whole playbook idea, it made me sort of realize something that like, the reason I feel like why I’m kind of struggling with these things is because I mean, I mean, this Friday, I’m going to be married, which is all happy fun time stuff, which is, it’s great. And I’m excited for it. However,
Josué Cardona 10:44
two days before your wedding, you’re here with us.
Marc Cuiriz 10:48
Consider this my bachelor party.
Josué Cardona 10:53
That’s the title of this episode.
Marc Cuiriz 10:54
The bachelor party. Oh, I love it. So, but like, the thing is, is that like, you know, like, with my dad, like, he’s one of those people that often withheld, like, a lot of his emotions. And then when whenever he did express emotion, it was usually like frustration or irritation. And recently, that’s what I started noticing myself, where I’m finding myself withholding a lot of emotion. And trying to like, maybe solve the problem or take care of an issue that’s going on in the house. Like, you know, I had to try to replace like a whole shower arm and fix my shower, which was a big pain in the ass. But, like going into it now, like knowing that I’m about to take this huge step. I find like now I’m sort of like, going through his playbook way. Like, alright, what do I do next? Like, how do I do this? Like, how does one be a quote unquote, husband, and the only reference that I have is really shitty role models. So with you with link saying like the the playbook, it’s like, oh, well, that makes a whole lot of sense. But I remember when I when I pitched this topic, I, you know, there’s a couple things, there’s like a couple shows that we all have all heard, all have seen, all have loved. It’s like the good place. And Steven Universe, two big shows that kind of really touch on them the idea of change, and like, this ability to sort of change so like Steven Universe is, is more of a, I would say is more of a positive, like, take on it of like, Yeah, everybody’s capable of change. And, you know, it doesn’t matter what your past is, you have the power to change what your future is going to be. Whereas the Good Place talks more about, like, we are so ingrained into these behaviors, and it takes a great deal amount of effort, it shows like the effort it takes to make these changes and how to make them more permanent and for the better, you know, should you want to go that route. So I mean, like, I don’t know, I’m kind of curious and like, what you guys are so to thinking about, like that idea of like, is it like something that like, oh, ever, like, you know, Lara you were saying that, like, everybody’s capable of it? Or, you know, that’s, that’s your thought because otherwise, what’s the point of being a therapist? You know, so that I’m just kind of curious to see like, what were you guys are, are sort of on this whole spectrum of change.
Josué Cardona 13:33
Well, I I have a question for you before I answer that one. Which is what so you you had a father that was uh, you know, you’re saying like was maybe not the best example for the kind of husband you want to be? And you said you know, you didn’t have any other examples. is
Lara Taylor 13:53
I think your brain is going where my brain
Josué Cardona 13:56
Yeah, like us you have like Were there ever any husbands that you saw real or fictional that you thought Damn I wish my dad was like that or Oh, I like if I when I grew up I want to be I want to be like that because that would that would be great.
Link Keller 14:16
my immediate thought was like I was a child how many stories I read about orphans like yeah, man, I wish I could be like that. Oh, ouch.
Marc Cuiriz 14:32
No more you know, I mean, with Percy Jackson, you know, tricking in the first book you have a horrible step-dad that and then throughout the rest of the series, you have a very distant and absent dad that hey, he’s there. Just so you know.
Lara Taylor 14:47
Interesting because yeah, my brain went the same place Josué because you brought up like, you turn to fictional characters for for role models and like, I think about my own relationship and There were no like model like I had my my mom was a model of how to be a wife. But that’s in a straight relationship that’s very different. And it brings me back to the Fosters. And how Lena and Stef, the moms on that show. Were like me, and Nina has like, relationship goals. That is like goals right there. I mean, yes, there’s a lot of like fighting and possible, like infidelity and all kinds of things.
Josué Cardona 15:29
and foster children
Lara Taylor 15:29
But like, children, and so many, so many foster children, so many foster children, but like the idea of the way they supported each other and the way they solve their problems toward the end, which is different change in the beginning, they weren’t talking to each other, they weren’t having, like, these important conversations, they would just have feelings and do things on their own. And then later, they would talk toward the end of the show talk to each other, but like, that was goals. That was what I could look to and be like, there is a relationship that I could model myself after. I mean, my parents relationship was okay, but it was cut short when my mom died. So I, I have the idealized version of that. So I don’t have the realities of like, what happens when people argue in a marriage, or things like that? So um, yeah, fictional characters, finding those, finding those people that you want to be like?
Josué Cardona 15:29
Lara Taylor 16:14
I mean, I’m all for suggestions. Because growing up I had like, none of that. Granted, I was exposed to a lot of media that probably was not suitable for my age. Like, Adult Swim, for example.
Marc Cuiriz 16:53
I don’t want to talk about porn.
Marc Cuiriz 16:54
No, no, no, no, I’m talking like South Park and Family Guy in a future Rama.
Lara Taylor 17:00
So that that is what where you were media has steered you wrong?
Marc Cuiriz 17:04
Yes. Yes, it has. I mean, like in terms of like, personal role models that I had the fictional characters like, you know, Spider Man, and just kind of superheroes in general. But in terms of like, what a family is supposed to look like, or like, what a like a husband is supposed to be like, and you know, as like a goals thing. Never really saw a lot of that.
Lara Taylor 17:30
Just go watch this is us there’s plenty of examples.
Josué Cardona 17:34
I just watched an episode called three dads. It’s four dads? three dads?
Lara Taylor 17:39
I don’t think I’m don’t think I’m, you’re on the final season. I’m not
Josué Cardona 17:43
I’m in the final season. I’m,
Lara Taylor 17:45
yeah, I’m on the final season, but like the third episode,
Josué Cardona 17:48
but something it’s like four fathers and it’s like, you know, across time, all these different fathers, you know,
Lara Taylor 17:54
and it shows that not all of them are perfect. All of them screw up in their marriages, their relationships, their being a parent, but most of them learn from their mistakes. Most of them. Most of them.
Josué Cardona 18:10
I’m thinking, this has me thinking on. Like, we like drama. Right? Like, like, there isn’t like there’s no soap opera of people just living like a drama free life of people who are perfect. Like that’s, that’s boring. Yeah, it wouldn’t, it wouldn’t go anywhere. When when Bob Saget died recently, I remember remembering like, I remember, because my parents got divorced. And I didn’t live with with my dad. Like, I don’t know, like, Danny Tanner, like reminded me. Like, he kind of looked like my dad. And like, he was like, he kind of played that role, like, like, I would just, I saw my father in that. And I wish that he was around to just, you know, be part of the hijinks of the house. You know, like, like, full house is pretty tame, right? As far as like Drama goes.
Lara Taylor 19:07
but there’s all kinds of shenanigans in the house.
Josué Cardona 19:10
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. But it’s very, you know, 90 is a kind of wholesome, except for the PSA episode. But you know, other than that, so that I remember. I remember that recently, when when he passed away, I was really sad because it was, it was like a part of my dad died like a version of him. That was a part of my life for a while. But there aren’t many. I that’s the only one that I can think of. Um, that was like that.
Lara Taylor 19:36
That’s interesting, because Bob Saget is very much not Danny Tanner.
Josué Cardona 19:40
Oh, not at all. yeah. Yeah, I know. Yeah. They’re like completely different things in my head, too. Um, yeah. But hmm
Lara Taylor 19:50
even then, like, I look back when I was younger, I looked at like, Jessie and Rebecca on Full House. as a as a relationship to like, be the end of relationship like they were the perfect couple right? On that show anyway. So yeah.
Josué Cardona 20:19
Link Keller 20:21
I feel like there’s definitely a connection between the 90s prevalence of sitcoms with families that are not necessarily nuclear family, but are happy families, and also the prevalence of like latchkey kids of the 90s. And how I do not think that this is an abnormal experience where people are like, watching those shows, one’s like, I wish that my parents were like that. Those are the role models I’m looking towards is that the media that I’m seeing, because that was actually present in my life.
Lara Taylor 21:04
I can’t remember what, no, I do remember now what it was Nina and I were watching an episode of Supergirl when we were catching up on it a few months ago, and there was a scene between Cara and Alex and Cara has this moment with her sister, like, just like pouring her heart out. And they have this sweet relationship. And I was just like, I my sister and I are close. But we don’t talk about a lot of things. And I told Nina like, I’ve never had anyone close to me, give me a pep talk. Like, they know my family supports me. And all the things I do. But I’ve never had that kind of moment where someone in my family has given me a pep talk and said, you’ve got this, I know you’ve got this. You’re a wonderful person. Nobody’s done that. And so it’s not the change thing. But like these relationships that we want in our lives, we can see them there. And it can be sad and also healing. I don’t know.
Josué Cardona 22:12
But if you didn’t have that, do you find yourself doing that for other people?
Lara Taylor 22:16
Link Keller 22:18
It’s part of your job.
Lara Taylor 22:20
I mean, it’s part of my job. But even outside of my job, I do that all the time with my friends.
Josué Cardona 22:27
Because nobody did it for you?
Lara Taylor 22:29
Nobody did it for me.
Link Keller 22:32
Man, there was a long time, I have been called like the mom friend in in my friend group. And a lot of that is recognition that I was enacting the behaviors towards people I loved in a way that I did not receive when I was younger.
Lara Taylor 22:57
So you’re not just working off of the playbook. You’re working against the playbook as well. You’re off script, not following the plays.
Marc Cuiriz 23:08
On your own audibles.
Josué Cardona 23:10
Yeah. But no. Same here. Um, there’s a lot of stuff that I find myself doing constantly because no one ever did for me. And I decided at some point, that’s what I’m gonna do. And I I, in terms of change? I don’t know, I don’t I’m not sure that that’s always what I’ve struggled with more recently is that because the the blueprint that I had was, I rejected it so hard. I went, I went too hard in the opposite direction. Like I like I like I tried to create an idealized version. And so there was like, I’m still figuring out what a healthy sustainable version of some of those behaviors is. Because I’m, like, compensating so hard for for that. But at that point, then I’ve created I’ve created something that now I’m struggling to change. Right, like, like, my reaction was to do the complete opposite. And yeah, I got to a point where, you know, it could be a little much,
Link Keller 24:28
I think that,
Josué Cardona 24:28
and then you’re like on autopilot, but like realizing it and then being able to start changing it. Can you? Yes, I believe so.
Marc Cuiriz 24:36
I think I’m in a position where like, I’m I am able to recognize like the positive traits that like my dad did have when you know, when he was actually being a dad. Like there were there were positives there and I think that there are some positive traits that I have trying to like to embrace and to accept, it’s just, I think it when it comes to trying to take on some of his traits, it’s almost so like, integrated together, like the positives and the negatives, that I can’t take one without taking on the other. So while I might try to take on some of his more like, calm and endearing, like educational traits, because like he would be the one the kind of person that like, take this time and like slow down go step by step and showing me how to do a thing or to fix a thing. Like, those are traits that I tried to take on and like, even at my workplace, that there was a time when the offset, I gave off Major Dad vibes, which was something considering they’re like, 14, and I’m 25. But, you know, like, it was just my way of like, trying to like, be the be the, like the coach that they, they I know that they needed. And I guess I just kind of came off in the more fatherly way, but like, it’s like me trying to embrace those aspects of my dad, that now I’m sort of unconsciously starting to take on more than just that. And that’s where like, the negativity stuff, like the negative stuff starts coming through, like, like my inability to showcase my emotions, except for when I’m frustrated or irritated. And then I snap at somebody or, or I just kind of like, shrug it off and dismiss it because it’s like, okay, whatever, I’m not here to listen to this, I’m just gonna keep doing my own thing. And then I get defensive, or and then or I might start an argument just for the sake of starting an argument. So like, it’s like, I’m trying to change myself and trying to, like, accept some things. But at the same time, it’s like, like I said, there’s they’re so interwoven and so connected. Like I it’s so hard for me to see him in one light without without acknowledging the other, that it’s become almost impossible to differentiate the two. So now I’m like, I’m trying to do one good thing. But now I’m also taking on this bad thing.
Josué Cardona 27:20
So I asked you before about like, when you were younger, and you looked for a representation, a positive representation of a father and like you didn’t have it? Do you have representations of, of even just qualities that you wish you had or had more of? From different characters like, Spider Man for example,
Marc Cuiriz 27:46
Josué Cardona 27:48
Marc Cuiriz 27:48
uncle Ben girl, Uncle Ben. I think he is especially in the in Tobey Maguire, Spider Man, I feel like that Uncle ben kind of gave me more of like that, kind of like what that like stern but patient and loving father that like I was looking for in my life, something that was stable, something that was always there someone who was dependable. Like, that’s kind of like the role model that I was looking for in terms of like a father figure. And so like, that’s kind of like, it sounds kind of, you know, when I think about how much Spider Man is influenced me, I never really stopped to think about Wow, even Uncle Ben is influenced my life, because that’s kind of like how I want to be as if I were to ever become a father. Like, those are the qualities that I would want is someone kind of like an Uncle Ben where I’m there. And I’m trying to teach and educate and be, you know, stern about, you know, the boundaries that I have set and the rules and expectations, while also being patient being loving, being caring, and, you know, kind of showcasing the softer side of things instead of just trying to be this macho person and then given to the idea of like machismo that I know that my dad’s side of the family especially really, you know, kind of emphasizes even if they don’t intentionally try to
Josué Cardona 29:25
don’t forget having a catchphrase that permeates pop culture for a century.
Marc Cuiriz 29:31
Josué Cardona 29:32
Link Keller 29:33
The only thing I really want from a father figure is one really bangin’ catch phrase.
Josué Cardona 29:39
To quote my father
Link Keller 29:40
the bar is so low!
Lara Taylor 29:43
Anyone says it in the movie, they die…
Josué Cardona 29:47
Lara Taylor 29:49
Um, as you were describing that, that reminds me a lot of Clark in Superman and Lois. Dependable dad even though Yeah, He gets called away all the time. And he’s torn between helping his family and helping others. But he’s always there for his kids. He, when it comes down to it, he and Lois work things out and talk about things. And he shows emotion. And he explains his to his kids why things are the way they are. He has these great, teachable moments with them. And he’s stern and also soft and caring. And you can have both
Josué Cardona 30:35
Superman, right? There’s, there’s a version of the conversation about Superman where he’s like, he’s a goody two shoes. He’s a boy scout. He’s like, he’s kind of boring as as a hero because of because of these things. And that TV show doubles down on it. Like, you’re gonna see how good he is not only like as Superman, but as a father as a husband.
Lara Taylor 31:00
And he but he also was fallible, and he makes mistakes.
Josué Cardona 31:04
He’s still he’s still like,
Lara Taylor 31:06
he’s still up there
Josué Cardona 31:07
jack in This Is Us levels of idealization,
Lara Taylor 31:12
but even then Jack makes mistakes.
Josué Cardona 31:15
True, true, but, but like they’re showcasing these like, perfect. And actually the show, both shows actually talk about the kind of the shadow
Lara Taylor 31:29
that the kids are in, right?
Josué Cardona 31:30
Yeah, because their fathers are so great. And kind of like the pressure of kind of meeting that which is like the complete opposite of what I was addressing here. There is no no perfect version of this.
Lara Taylor 31:47
And in some ways, you see that with Uncle Ben it like Peter Parker is in his shadow, because he was such a good guy. And in the Tobey Maguire version. He feels like it’s his fault. You know,
Josué Cardona 32:02
this makes me think that I mean, just the effect. I’m sorry to marc like, I think we’re so far for like, just just the
Lara Taylor 32:11
we went a different way. Yeah.
Josué Cardona 32:13
But it’s it’s influence.
Marc Cuiriz 32:15
Interesting way, and I’m here for it.
Josué Cardona 32:17
It’s the influence of these people who are close to us. Like, it’s not just, I mean, the version in our minds, and the version that influences us is, how real is it and how, you know, like we can, we may emphasize the good or we emphasize the bad. And it becomes this power, this huge influence. But like, that’s what bothers me the most I wish I. Or at least I’ve always tried to think of it as like, These people should not have any more influence over my life than anybody else. And it bothers me that they do. And, but but they are right. They’re our parents or our grandparents, our family. And, and I think, for me a big part of not just changing, but what I’m thinking is like growing in a more healthy way, or changing in a healthy way, has been kind of getting, accepting that they’re like, I don’t have to be like them. And also, the influence that they have, for me is mostly in here. Like there, there are things that I think of, and I and I and I confronted my parents about that aren’t actually even true. Like just the version in my head was a certain way. And like, it wasn’t actually that. And I also understand a lot of their decisions. Link, you talked about that a little as well. Like I understand them a lot better now, as I’ve gotten older than I did before. And so I also see a lot of things very differently than than I did before. But like, in a way the damage is done. Because because the influence of that version was so great for a long time. So for me a big part of changing those behaviors and even pieces of myself has been trying to reach trying to understand those things a little better, but also understanding learning that just like I can’t change other people, right, like what’s the like the it’s, it’s done, and like it doesn’t have to continue to to to influence me, I think I think there are so many experiences that we have that are the same as our parents because because we’re moving in the same direction we’re living in the same world and the same country like there are a lot of things that will come up that are that are kind of very similar, but then we don’t we don’t if you can have that insight. Or even better if you have someone else who can help point that out for you, like a therapist or a good friend Um, you know, and just help you see things from a different perspective or just tell you at the right time, like, you know, you have other options. It’s not just the ones that you’re considering. All of those things have helped me get to crossroads that, you know, that I didn’t even know are there. I’ll give you an example. Recently, my mom was telling me something. And I told her stop, stop, stop, stop. That’s the voice in my head. That’s exactly like now I know, I was like, I can’t listen to you. I cannot listen to what you’re saying. And she got so upset with me. I was like, I cannot listen to what you’re saying. Because I believe exactly what you believe. Like, that’s what I’m telling myself in my head this whole time. And now that I heard you say the words, I know that this is, I understand where this is coming from, and hearing you say it. Like, it doesn’t have to be that way. Like, I wouldn’t tell you the same thing. And it was such a weird, meta experience of like, learning where that where that voice in my head was was coming from where in a way, like, Yes, it’s me, it’s my voice in my head. But I, I so obviously saw. This is the way we were raised. This is the way we all think. And I forget that I don’t have to think this way. And, and I’ve been I like I reverted back and I had the opposite conversation with someone else. And I was so good. I was like, I was you this conversation last week with my mom. Like I still even though I had the realization like I needed to practice it. And I need to continue to practice it to kind of get out of that of that. behavior. stuff
Link Keller 36:48
we’re brushing up against an idea that I think is really important to talk about is that we have this concept of change as being a singular event, something that happens and you are changed, or you make a decision to change. It ain’t never that easy. It ain’t ever that singular, we, we
Lara Taylor 37:11
there might be a moment that does change you. But it is rare,
Link Keller 37:16
I would submit that even then it’s not it’s not an on off switch, we have this tendency towards black and white thinking. And then you know
Josué Cardona 37:26
you can lose a limb and still have like a ghost limb. Like your brain still thinks that it’s there afterwards, like
Link Keller 37:33
Josué Cardona 37:33
that’s not an example of how hard it is. You think like Yeah,
Link Keller 37:38
yeah, that’s no, that’s actually kind of a cool example.
Lara Taylor 37:42
And yet, we have so many stories of butterfly effects where something small happens, we go back in time and change one little thing. And then so many other things change in the future. When I’m thinking about a time that changed my life. My mom dying, that there, I was a different person the next day than I was before. Still mostly me, but a different me. That kind of thing. But the most of our decisions. There’s like you’re right link, like there’s so many different, smaller things, right?
Josué Cardona 38:17
You’re a combination of many different pieces. Oh, yeah. And maybe
Link Keller 38:21
I feel like Steven Universe future sort of touches on this is like, we get into this place where it’s like, we feel like we’ve made the change that we want to make in our life. And we’re, you know, closer to the version of ourselves that we want to be and then you have something happens. And you have a moment where you react in a way that you thought you had changed from. And, and because of this tendency towards black and white thinking, it’s like, oh, I never changed at all i was i gaslit myself into thinking I was a better person like, no, no, no, it is so, so much more complex than that. And like I said, in the beginning is like learning to be compassionate about that stuff is really, that is where I’ve found the most ability to actually make meaningful changes is recognizing, like, if you do something that you’re like, Ooh, that’s not really what I want to do, or that’s not really the belief I wanted to have inside that I’m holding on to is like, you can still change and grow and still those pieces exist. And that doesn’t lessen the change, or growth that you’ve experienced is people are multifaceted, and complex. And there will be times where you will be very tired. And you will say something that you’re like wow, I literally just repeated something my dad said to me or wow, I really just pulled this belief straight out of the you know, YA novel that I read when I was 12 and I’ve just held on to that little nugget this whole time and I don’t really want to hold on to that nugget anymore. It’s like That’s okay, that doesn’t invalidate the the changes that you have made the stuff that you’ve Been introspective about? And and? Yeah, I just I feel like sometimes we are so mean to ourselves where it’s just like, I’m not living up to this perfect idealized, fictional version of who I think that I’m supposed to be or who that I want to be. And it’s like, yeah, it’s fictional it it is, it’s fictional, and learning to be kinder to yourself about it, like, you’re not going to hit it every time. And like, maybe really actually pump yourself up. When you do do the thing that’s like, that is who I want to be. That is the behavior I want to exhibit, that is the belief I want to express to other people so that they take it and ripple it forward through time and community. It’s like, be excited about those moments too, and not just hateful towards the stuff that you feel like you have failed that.
Lara Taylor 40:57
I talk to clients all the time about how we have spent however many years and decades wiring our brains the way they are. And once you decide you want to start this process of growing and changing these behaviors, and thoughts and all of that, like, it’s gonna take time to rewire all of that. And it’s not a linear process. It’s not like you’re all of a sudden going to be thinking, if your thought is that I’m a horrible person, you’re not going to be thinking I’m a great person over and over and over. And you’re going to have a moment where you don’t feel so great about yourself. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get back to thinking I’m a capable, confident person. At some point. Yeah, one thing Josué was talking about, reminded me of tell me why when you were talking about the idea of having thoughts and remembering things with your family that wasn’t real, like it wasn’t real. um, I can’t remember all of what you said. But it was like, Oh, wow. And that is tell me why. And that is tell me why. And that is tell me why because they’re trying to figure out what happened when they were kids. And they saw it a completely different way. And they’re having converse, they’re having their memories and reliving each other’s memories, and getting to know what other people in the town thought about their mom and what happened. And those are events that clearly changed their lives. And they didn’t always remember it right. And they chose to be different. And yet they still act, some of how they did when they were kids.
Josué Cardona 42:47
I’m reading two books right now, that came to mind. One is called the science of trust. It’s by John Gottman. And he talks about a positive and negative sentiment bias. And it’s kind of like you start. In a way, it’s like you remember only the negative or you remember mostly the positive. And so you, you create, just because of the way memory works and the way you’re replaying it in your head, you can create completely different versions of an event, or I would argue a person over time, where you remember more negative than positive, then reading this other book called Positive Intelligence. And I really like it because it has this aspect of something that I like about Rational Emotive behavior therapy by Albert Ellis, where they use a lot of math. Like, sometimes you’ll say, like, I’m a bad person, and an RBC therapist will be like, prove it to me. You know, like, What do you mean? It’s like, How many times did you do bad things today, you know, and it’s like, I want I want you to quantify it, add them up, show me, you know, it’s like, Oh, you did three bad things all day, how many good things that you do, you know, like, I don’t know, like the start going through like 50 And it’s like, and you’re a bad person. Like, that doesn’t make any sense. So you’re not convincing me that you’re a bad person. But in the in Positive Intelligence, it talks about like these different healthy versus unhealthy exercises, and it talks about, you know, kind of, if you keep track of them, that there’s a there’s a there’s a number there’s a threshold, once you start doing two healthy actions for every negative action, it like you start that’s really when you when when the change starts happening in your behavior and in your way of thinking and in your in your mental health in general. And I like that framing of it. There’s never like the goal is never to get a perfect score. The goal is never to score overnight. It’s just that you’re doing more of the you know, you’re moving more in one direction than the other because you’re always gonna go into into into both and it is a super long process. I I’ve talked about and there’s a blog post I wrote Somewhere about this, there’s one time when I was trying to lose weight. And this is one of those things where people like, you know, any any small change, and they feel like completely derailed. And I remember the feeling kind of hopeless about about making a change. And I was watching an episode of Doctor Who and it’s right at the end of Dana David Tennant’s run. And in, in the show, they, when you regenerate when the when it changes from like one version of the doctor to the other. Like, lara you said before, like, you know, like, change, some maybe some change can happen in a moment. And so, technically, in the show, it does, like, there’s like kind of a flash and, you know, might take a few seconds, but it switches from one person to the other. But when when this happened with David Tennant, something happened. And then he looks at him someone’s like, oh, it’s happening, it started. And he just looks at him. And he knows that now he has process. It’s like, it’s a process. And then for an hour, he still he’s still on screen traveling through time through the universe, visiting friends putting things in order, like he, there’s so many different things that he does. And it reminded me at a time when I needed a good reminder of that, that that it doesn’t know change happens instantaneously. That it is it is a process. And I love the idea that like, you know, he’s regenerating for an hour, he kind of he feels that it’s happening, you know, but he’s going to, and then then in the end, you know, you get the flash of the show. But but it is, it’s definitely not, it doesn’t doesn’t matter. Even if your circumstances change, or the context changes in a moment, that doesn’t change everything, you are in a completely different person. There’s so many things. You know, like sometimes you lose somebody, and sometimes for a moment you forget that they’re that they’re dead, you forget that they’re not there anymore, right? That can happen a long time after you know it, you know, if we’re using that as an example. So imagine if that if something like that can happen, just with any change, you sometimes you you doesn’t matter how conscious you are of it, like still, unconsciously, there’s a there may be a part of you that reverts and it’s that’s again, accepting that that is the way it is. And then it’s how you deal with that. Like, I like to always point that out try link about how we should be compassionate, compassionate. Towards I’d like for like, forgive yourself for like forgetting that. You said you were never going to do that again. And you did it. It’s like, Yeah, but that’s okay.
Lara Taylor 47:56
I can do it never again. From now on. Until the next time
Josué Cardona 48:01
the idea of like falling off the wagon is is is not helpful, because just get back on. Why doesn’t anybody get back on?
Lara Taylor 48:10
It’s a wagon, it doesn’t have to move very fast.
Josué Cardona 48:13
How fast is that thing going? Yeah, come on. did you break something when you fell off the wagon, come on,
Link Keller 48:18
it’s funny that you brought the wagon metaphor, cuz I have my notes. Oh, my notes. And I wrote out notes beforehand. But then as we were talking, I don’t even remember who said what that got me to write this down. But I wrote down euphoria, which is a fantastic show, the second season just finished. But it is a story about addiction. And there is an ongoing plot, emotional experience of talking about the idea of wanting to change, having the desire to change versus having addiction, a disease that does not give you all of the power that you need to necessarily enact that desired change, and how other people will project onto you about that stuff. And I think that that’s something that’s important to talk about with people is is sort of internal versus external changes, like there are things that you you can change, you have the power to reframe your thinking you have the power to introspect about, you know, your attitudes and beliefs. And there are things that are external to you, that’s other people dying, you don’t have control over that. And sort of recognizing that all of those things are happening at the same time. And being able to sort of process that within those contexts is like, is this change that I want? Is this something that is you know, purely in Internal, is this a change that has to happen outside of myself? Do I need to change my environment, and that’s the only way that the change is gonna happen. Like all these things impact each other, nothing exists in a vacuum. I think euphoria does a really good job of talking about that kind of stuff.
Josué Cardona 50:18
In the last episode, we, we talked about this too, but it doesn’t matter how bad you want it, you may want to do something. Sometimes, sometimes the all the pieces are in place that make it easier than than not. And it’s like, not all the pieces just like as things everything is, is adding up together. And sometimes the balance shifts in one way or the other. And it’s like, it’s, it’s too hard right now. Now, I can actually do it. And you don’t? Yeah, it’s hard to control a lot of those factors sometimes.
Marc Cuiriz 50:56
Yeah, I mean, as you guys bringing up all so many good points, like, I feel my brain just going like, oh, I this is like a talk about Oh, no. But then you bring up this one thing. And then it’s like, no, I want to talk about this. And but link when you were kind of talking about like euphoria, and like, how well does the highlight these this idea like changing and like you’re saying about like, being able to forgive ourselves and be compassionate about, you know, making those mistakes of like, acting on behaviors that kind of, we just kind of grew up with or that we kind of, quote unquote, know best. This is where, like, I brought up earlier about the good place. And I feel like at the end of the series, like that’s kind of what they kind of showcase and highlight of like, having these people as they die, like, have to go through these trials over and over and over again, because they, and at the end of every trial, they have this meet, they have that sit down meeting of like, okay, here’s what you did, that was good, here’s what you did, that was bad. And, like, you keep going through it until that that overall change actually starts to stick, you know, and you see that with like the the main characters and you see how, like, in the beginning, like they all have their issues. You know, they’re they all have their own problems that they sort of fall back on those old old behaviors. And then over the course of the entire show, you see the slow but gradual process of change and trying to be better people. And then you have like, you know, like that one guy at the end guy, what was his name? Like, Pat or something like that, or like he’s just a complete sleazeball complete misogynist, and everything and then like you even see like a little passing glimpse of like, Hey, I’m going through like his 500th Plus trial, and like, he’s still not quite there, because he’s still not ready or willing to make that change. And so like, you see how, like, for him, like, his process is a lot longer. And for some people, it’s like, you know, they go through it a few times, and because they’re motivated to make that change, that they’re willing to do that. And it’s also like, even when they screw up, they’re still willing to try to forgive themselves and try to move on and say, okay, you know, what, I screwed up this one time. And I’m gonna do do my best to try to be better the next time around, when when these sorts of things come up. And I don’t know you, I feel like there’s just so much there, and now i’m pinballing back over to the stuff that Josué was talking about here. Of like, having the mostly negative of the mostly positive sort of like experiences and sort of like that sort of paints the picture of what our past or what our memories sort of look like. And then they kind of put it back in my own personal experience. I think it’s because I have such negative connotations towards my dad. That that’s why it’s, I find it easier to pick up on the negative habits. It’s because that’s, that’s all I’m choosing, like, that’s all I’ve chosen to sort of highlight. That’s all I’ve chosen to sort of like associate with him. Even though I can, you know, objectively say no, there’s some good traits with him. No, I know I have these very distinct good memories with him yet there so I choose to completely overshadow all of that and completely neglect. Those are pushing to the side and say, however, here’s all here’s this giant laundry list of terrible things that he’s done that I choose to then associate with him and then I feel like that’s why like, when it comes to the habits, like I’m trying to pick up the good things that he’s done and and apply them to me. But I’m so used to thinking of him in such a negative way that I feel like now that’s why I’m taking on more of the negative traits.
Josué Cardona 54:51
Just because some things are seem similar, doesn’t mean that you are like him?
Marc Cuiriz 55:05
Yeah, and I mean, like I can objectively say like, I know, I’m not like him, even though I have these traits that are similar, and they’re influenced by his thing, I think like, what you were talking about, from the book of, of having those negative or positive connotations towards a memory. And given the fact that I have a lot of memories, most of them negative. And I am because I’ve chosen to actively go against the playbook that was given to me, for so many years, I have, with a passion have decidedly made every single one of those memories, especially negative, because I’m like, I know for a fact that that’s not what I want to do. That’s not how I want to be as a person as a partner, is anything sort of moving forward in my life, so I’ve chosen to so like kinda like he said, where I chose to go the exact opposite route. So everything that I saw that he was on, like, Imma be the opposite of that. And
Josué Cardona 56:10
I think I think when we watched, like, sometimes we’ll get a reaction, I think it’s, it makes sense to be that reactive to something because it is such a negative part for you. Right? It is, it is a trigger, right. So like, when we talk about, like, oh, trigger warnings and things like that, like, it’s really hard to have those conversations, because for different people, it we’re gonna react differently, because they remind us of things, usually very, very negative things, even if they’re similar, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same. So, so like that, that makes sense to me. And, and, you know, the worse the experience of the more reactive we are to them. The again, it’s not, I mean, you’re talking about the experience in in real life, that you’re, you’re seeing it happening, you’re like God dammit, or like, link you said before, like, oh, I sound like, you know, this, I said something that I you know, exactly like this other person. And when that happens, it, it jumps out at you, like your brain is is reacting to it. And and learning to manage that is is pretty helpful too I think it goes in with the compassion piece.
Lara Taylor 57:29
it kind of goes along with something one of my therapist told me once is that, when we’re in this window of tolerance, we’re able to do the things we want to do make the changes have that executive function, be like, This is how I want to be. And if you get de escalated, and you’re outside that window of tolerance, you’re frustrated, you go back to the playbook you’re given. And so it’s about trying to manage and figure out how to stay in that window, how to expand the window, make the window bigger, so that you’re not always having to work off that playbook when you’re frustrated, or upset, or triggered or whatever the case may be. And the more examples you have of ways to respond, then you have a different playbook you can pull from while you’re at the edge of that window, about to jump out the window.
Link Keller 58:24
I think that’s such an important thing to touch on is like we human beings, we only experience what we experience, right is like your lived life and the media you consume and the people around you and the stories they tell you. Those all affect who you are and how you understand the world as you move through it. More experiences mean more choices, more options, more ideas about how things can be and, you know, that’s one of the reasons why, you know, I think it’s so important that we consume diverse media is because we need diverse experiences, to be able to help us shape and understand the world we live in. You know, you only really generally get one set of parents, I you know, I’ve got a couple of extras. Some other people get a few spares. But you don’t really get that many examples personally, right is mostly you have what you lived through and then maybe, you know, Danny Tanner
Lara Taylor 59:30
some family friends parents or whatever
Link Keller 59:32
or family guy, you know, it’s like, those are the little bits you have but the more life you live and the more people you interact with and the more stories you hear, the better you’re able to recontextualize like this idea that I have of how things are or how people behave is like pretty narrow and there is so much more out there. That is possible. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 1:00:01
I think I’ll start wrapping us up. I don’t know if this is a good place to end but I’ve been playing Elden ring, the new soulsborn game. Okay, and I got to the first boss like maybe an hour, hour and a half in and I just beat it. 10 hours into the game. It took me nine hours to to beat the first boss.
Link Keller 1:00:24
I thought you said beat it, I’m like you beat it already?!
Josué Cardona 1:00:27
No, no, no. First boss. Okay, it took me like eight or nine hours to beat the first boss. And to do that, I don’t know, when I started. I could only play with what I had. And then I I spent hours grinding and learning and accumulating new knowledge literally in the game, leveling up doing all that kind of stuff. And then I still only beat him because I kind of cheated. In a way. I mean, didn’t cheat but like with
Marc Cuiriz 1:01:01
you cheesed it
Josué Cardona 1:01:02
I cheesed it, it used it definitely, yeah, a summon pretty much poison, and I just stayed away while you while he died slowly, but I beat it, I beat it took me 10 hours to learn how to kind of just get past that part, maybe not the way I wanted to. But I was able to overcome that. I’ve been I’ve been seeing my, my current therapist, twice a week for about a year now. And I’m not sure at what point i i started noticing the mistakes that I had made shortly after I had already made them. But at least I was noticing that I was that I had done them with not like days or weeks later, but like sometimes hours later, or moments later. And now I’m at the point where sometimes I can stop myself before I do it. Change is hard. It’s hard work. It is really and we don’t remember how, how much effort, our brains and bodies went into the first version. And so it’s just it is a lot of work. Is it possible? I think I think in almost all circumstances it is possible to change your own you can only change yourself and and your behaviors and, and, and even your beliefs. But it’s hard work. It’s really hard work. And you can I think you can be a different person. I was I remember believing things that I don’t believe anymore. I remember doing things in ways that I didn’t do them before. I know languages now that I didn’t know, years ago, you know, my, our bodies change. So like there’s there’s a lot but But it’s hard work. It’s a lot of hard work. Closing thoughts? Okay, well, thank you.
Link Keller 1:01:14
Josué Cardona 1:01:57
for bringing on this topic. Yeah, yeah.
Link Keller 1:03:14
Josué Cardona 1:03:15
the media list on this one is gonna be pretty long.
Link Keller 1:03:18
Marc Cuiriz 1:03:21
You know, when you were saying like, Oh, yeah, just just give us a topic. And we’ll talk about I’m like, wait, hold on. I don’t know what don’t want to talk about. I mean, I’ve been listening to the show for a couple years. And you think I would be like, oh, yeah, I got I get an idea of what the topic should be, like, kinda like, I got this down, then you present me with the opportunity. And I’m like, What? What are words? What? What’s a question to ask? I don’t know things.
Josué Cardona 1:03:52
You did fine. You’ll do you?
Link Keller 1:03:56
It’ll do right. Can I give you a little secret that is us. All of us every week.
Lara Taylor 1:04:02
What are we gonna talk about?
Link Keller 1:04:03
There’s, you feel like you’re competent at a thing. And then you have to do the thing. And you’re like, Oh, no. Am I though? Oh, you are.
Marc Cuiriz 1:04:15
Link Keller 1:04:16
I believe in you
Marc Cuiriz 1:04:17
every single day.
Lara Taylor 1:04:17
That will be you in your job every single day for the rest of your life. Marc, I know what is in store for you.
Link Keller 1:04:26
I feel like that proof of like, you are being introspective, which is a good thing is when
Josué Cardona 1:04:34
it’s a step in a direction. That of change. Yeah,
Marc Cuiriz 1:04:38
my therapist tells me that like I’m, she says that like I’m very like, she’s like, I’m really glad that you’re like having these sorts of thoughts because it’s showing that like you are being like, very introspective and you’re being very like you’re, you’re aware of all these things. Am I cool? I’m aware about it. Now what do I do about it?
Josué Cardona 1:05:00
Keep working at it.
Marc Cuiriz 1:05:01
And that’s that’s
Link Keller 1:05:02
it’s uncomfortable but it is proof that you are doing the work. That is the work
Lara Taylor 1:05:07
more awareness more like Josué is talking about, you know, it took months, weeks, days, hours now like minutes, you know.
Marc Cuiriz 1:05:18
I feel like therapy is made me more philosophical.
Josué Cardona 1:05:22
Shout out to all our therapists. Oh, all right. Thank you for joining us, everyone. Thank you for listening. For more Geek Therapy, visit geek therapy.org. Talk to us about this. And then all of our community spaces and find those in the show notes. Remember to geek out and do good. We’ll be back next week
Link Keller 1:05:48
Josué Cardona 1:05:51
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Characters / Media
- The Good Place
- Steven Universe
- Steven Universe: Future
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- The Fosters
- South Park
- Family Guy
- This is Us
- Full House
- Superman and Lois
- Tell Me Why
- The Science of Trust by John Gottman
- Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine
- Doctor Who
- Elden Ring
Themes / Topics
* Existential Crises
* Difficult emotions
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* Mental Health Services
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Negative Role Models
* Positive Role Models
Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.
Links / Social Media
Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com
GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org
GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord
GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy
Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona
Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq
Join the Conversation!
Who were the role models in your life that made you want to change?