Being a Good Friend with Safety and Courage

 Real Skills Workshop - Community Event

RS 2023-08-13 Good-Friend

Being a Good Friend with Safety and Courage

Real Skills Workshop: Savvy Relating and Engaging

Hosts: Rick Wilkes (@Rick) and Cathy Vartuli (@Cathy)

Recorded Sun Aug 13 2023

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If together we looked at your past “good friends” what helped make them that? How would you describe the energetic connection between you… and what activities helped make those connections stronger, deeper, closer, and more trustworthy?

Real Skills Workshop

It takes courage and willingness to co-create together. And all friendships are co-creations.

Every single “good friend” I’ve had in my life is a person I was co-creating with.

It’s easy for me to like people if we share some values and interests. But for a person to feel like a good friend takes something more for me.

It takes us having a shared intention to build, grow, or steward something that matters to us both.

Yeah, some people can feel like good friends with a drinking buddy. Or someone they hang with at the farmers market just shooting the shyte.

Closeness and depth comes (for me) only through consciously choosing Together to cultivate what matters to us both.

What have you noticed helps you feel closer and deeper with a fellow human?

Knowing what the essentials are for you… is so savvy.

It doesn’t mean a specific friendship is “guaranteed” – but it does mean you can point to missing essentials and even share what you know about yourself to seek conscious synergy together.

Imagine speaking with courage that in a good friendship, you get excited when… you feel safe when… you more easily make time when…

Can’t answer those off the top of your head? Want to feel freer to share that with someone you’d like to be closer with?

Cathy and I will be co-creating a space on Sunday where together we’ll explore these aspects of Be-Friending. Will you join us? You’re invited!

:point_right: Replay is below

If you’re new to tapping, we have a free EFT Tapping Course here.

We make these workshops freely available, and… like (almost) everything they take money to make possible. If you can include $+ with you registration, THANK YOU!

Appreciate You! Our inbox is open!

With love,

Rick & Cathy ~ ThrivingNow
Your Emotional Freedom Coaches
Schedule private sessions here

P.S. Adira says, “My Bo-Bo helps me when I want him to. He also let’s me do it myself when I want to. Such a good friend…”


Relationship tip: when your partner makes an awful but innocent mistake (leaves their phone in the cab, forgets their passport when heading to the airport for an international flight, drops and shatters a beloved item, gets in a fender bender, etc.), don’t get mad at them. It makes no sense (it was accidental) and it accomplishes nothing except supplementing an already bad situation with an unnecessary fight.

Instead, think about it like this: as a couple, you will commit like 20 of these hideous mistakes a year and who knew that one of them was gonna happen today, but it did, so that sucks, but it’s also a little bit funny, and let’s just make the best of it.

This turns those moments from relationship-damaging to relationship-building. And of course, what goes around comes around—you do dumb things too, and you’d much rather your partner be a laughing teammate than an angry parent in those situations.

I didn’t used to do this, I learned it from my wife. I am a frequent committer of hideous mistakes, and it surprised me that she never got mad about it, and then I started being like that too. ~ Tim Urban,

Reading this description, I am struck by how savvy it is to allow mistakes. Because we are all going to do stuff like that!

I’ll add that for me, my Good Friends (and especially my Life Partner) allowing me to occasionally be reactive, short-tempered, grumpy, etc., is like he points out – something we’re all going to do.

Someone who never gets angry is as rare as a unicorn. Mythological. Now they may go into freeze. They may cry and run away. They may go off and chop wood and cuss inside… but “angry” is a human state.

I really do not want people to “take their anger out on me.” But if someone is angry with me, or with something we’re sharing, my super empathy sensors will feel that. Probably more intensely than meant for me. I so deeply appreciate that when we can accept our humanity with each other we can build resilience and reduce harm.

That doesn’t mean accepting abuse or harm or harshness as a “coping mechanism” others might use with us, of course.


At 16 years old, Being a Good Friend to me meant remembering people’s birthdays.

By the time I was about to turn 21, I had a black Rolodex of 183 names, addresses, phone numbers, and birthdates for people I cared about. I remembered! I called or wrote to each person every year once they joined my Friends List.

Then… I turned 21.

And no one remembered my birthday.

By the time 9pm came around and my Mom finally called, I was bereft.

It was like all my friendships died that day.

I cremated the Rolodex in the incinerator of my apartment building. And with it any sense that I knew how to have Good friends.

I still shed a tear for my tender self, turning 21 in a hostile town, even the “friends” he thought he’d made in college not sharing the same Birthday Values he had. Growing up in a divorced household where celebrations were always complex, Ricky thought he’d figured it out. But he hadn’t.

It’s humbling to know forty years later that friendship is still both precious and rare for me. I’m no longer naive enough to believe that what I value is necessarily what others do.

The skill of friendship is one I am still cultivating in myself. Right now, it seems to have a few facets that are core:

  1. Know myself. And share that knowing in increments with those I’d like to be closer with.

I have higher-than-typical needs for safety, respect, and freedom. I like hearing no if it means a friend is taking care of themselves – and they can count on me saying no, too.

I’m a responder vastly more than an initiator. Responding is a way I show my friendship. Lack of initiating is NOT an indicator of how deeply I feel about someone.

Kinship, for me, comes with co-creating. If we’re not co-creating, if there’s no shared inspired action or consciously supporting each other around what matters to us, I’m not going to feel very close or deep. Just the way I’m wired. I’m not a “socializer.” Meaningful engagement is what lights me up.

  1. Agreements rock! Expectations suck. I expected 183 people to remember my birthday – because I remembered theirs! But I never communicated that. I just “expected” reciprocity. Silly boy.

It’s emotionally unsafe for me to have expectations of others. It’s far safer (even if sometimes disappointing) to have shared intentions, consent, and agreements.

  1. Humans are utterly diverse. My blend of preferences is certainly different from yours, and yours from mine, and ours from theirs.

It means that a “sweet voicemail” to one person can be annoying to another person. Text messages can feel connecting to some and interrupting to others.

Some people love hugs, others are triggered by them – unless they are asked, or they initiate. A little social pressure can help some people overcome their inertia and come join the party. For others, when they say NO they really do not want to hear anything other than “thanks for taking care of yourself.”

Wild, isn’t it?

How do we navigate all this with safety for ourselves and others?

Going to take courage… and some skills.

I’m curious…

If you consider a friendship that matters to you, how would you answer these:

(a) I feel closer to them when they _____.

(b) I feel more distant and less connected to them when they _____.

If you feel up to sharing, it will help Cathy and I as we ready ourselves for the real skills workshop on Sunday. Hope you can join us.

Love, Rick

:point_right: Replay is below


Being a Good Friend with Safety and Courage - Session Recording

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We welcome your insights, ah-ha’s, and sharing. Please! Click [Reply]

We covered…

  • It’s useful to distinguish between different types of friendships: not all friendships are created equal, and some people may not have the capacity or desire to align with us. Learn how to deepen relationships with those who do.

  • Recognize the value of being a good friend: Acknowledge the importance of mutual friendship and put effort into cultivating and getting to know each other. Start small and build trust over time.

  • Self-awareness in friendship: Recognizing one’s own triggers and orientation is crucial for offering safety and stability in friendships.

  • Self-regulation, grounding, and co-regulation help us to shift out of our primitive brain and back into Presence, Resourcefulness, and Authenticity.

  • Childhood experiences where our needs are not met can lead to unrealistic (and unhealthy) demands in adult relationships.

  • Co-creating relationships: Friendships are co-creations. Nourish them with clarity and mutual YES… and without obligation.

  • Being clear about what is a yes for you and what is not helps to avoid misunderstandings and build mutual trust.

  • Trauma can cause exit velocity responses, leading to the end of long-term friendships. Being trauma-aware can help us in being a safe and courageous friend.

  • Acknowledging that the other person is free to take care of themselves, regardless of how hurtful it may seem, can help us re-center ourselves.

  • Grieving the loss of a friendship: We allow ourselves to grieve and honor the friendship that was lost while acknowledging that it may not have been a rational decision by the other person. Trauma triggers and life changes do happen.

  • Primitive brain reaction of Us vs. Them can create unresolvable conflict and feelings like we don’t belong. Sometimes we don’t, with certain people, even blood relatives.

  • Our “kin” are likely to be found with those who share our values, what matters to us, and have an interest in safe, respectful, and freedom-honoring friendship.

  • Being vulnerable and sharing who we really are with people is a courageous act that can help us connect with others directly instead of creating artificial closeness through fear and othering.

  • Encourage people to ask for what they want in relationships, even if it feels awkward or vulnerable. Modeling this makes the emotional world we share quite beautiful.

  • Co-create relationships by exploring each other’s needs and preferences.

  • Responding vs. initiating: Reflecting on the difference between responding and initiating in relationships and how it can impact communication.

  • Requesting needs in relationships: It’s okay to request what makes you feel loved, but word it as a request. Clear your energy around unmet needs.

  • Saying “no” in relationships: Saying “no” can strengthen relationships and expand the “yes” range. It’s important to have a safe space to say “no.”

Resources Mentioned

  1. Free EFT Tapping Guide

  2. Thriving Now Emotional Freedom Circle

Click for Computer Generated Transcript

Being a Good Friend with Safety and Courage

[00:00:00] Being a good friend with safety and courage.

[00:00:03] This is a real skills workshop. It’s part of our series on savvy, relating and engaging. And, I am really blessed today. I’m co-creating this with someone who’s not just a good friend. She, she truly is an exceptional friend. We’ve been cultivating this kinship for a while now.

[00:00:27] Getting close to two decades. Yeah. And

[00:00:34] I, I’m looking forward to hearing what Cathy Vartuli from the Intimacy Dojo has to share today. Because I know I am not normal, I. Normal is a setting on my dryer. I am not normal, okay? I am a responder. I’m not an initiator. I am, I’m sound sensitive, energy sensitive, and a whole bunch of other things. I, uh, am very, very willing to explore ways to make a friendship better, and I dysregulate if somebody’s attacking me or telling me that.

[00:01:17] I don’t un they don’t, I don’t understand them or like blaming me. I know that that just fundamentally hits my nervous system in a way that I get really shaky, teary runny, meaning runaway and runny nose. Like it’s a big deal for me because I’ve cultivated a heart that’s very open to the people I care about.

[00:01:42] And so, you know, Cathy somehow navigated me for all of these years. And for someone who spent some of the most traumatized moments of my freeze with the mantra going through my head, I have no friends. Um, I have not been able to say that for a long time without sort of laughing at myself. Um, because it’s laugh, it’s not true anymore.

[00:02:11] Subconscious brain is like, I understand the desperation to have deep deepness and someone who can really, uh, meet you. Um, and today in this workshop, we’re gonna be exploring some of the things. You’re a participant if you’re here live. Thank you so much. It’s great to have you with us. The chat is a way that you can add your energy, your wisdom, your insights, your questions, the things that are hard for you into this workshop.

[00:02:43] Um, If you’re watching the recording, the commentary or the reply section on Thriving Now Center, um, our community center is a place for you to continue this exploration together, even for years to come. Mm-hmm. So with that, Cathy, um, are all friends created equal? Are we trying to create a bunch of different Cathys in the world?

[00:03:11] Wouldn’t.

[00:03:15] It’s important to distinguish. So Rick is somebody I call a kidney friend. Basically if he called me up and said, Cathy, I need a kidney. I’d be, what flight should I be on? There wouldn’t be a hesitation or a, you know, there would just be like, what flight should I be there for? Like to give you my kidney.

[00:03:31] So like family, he is like so close. But it took time to time in navigating that as we went. Um, and I have wanted more friends like Rick and I do have a few friends that are pretty dear to me, but no, none that are quite to the depth and the uniqueness of Rick. Um, and we’re gonna go over some skill sets in here that will help you deepen ones of friendships that have potential for deepening and also recognizing that some may just, I have, we.

[00:03:59] Movie buddies. Buddies. I have a couple friends that if I wanna see a particular type of movie, I know I can call them up. They’re probably game for dinner or like ice cream after. So we can talk about the movie, but that’s really all I want from them. If they ask to like, go away for the weekend, I’m like, eek, I’m busy.

[00:04:16] Whatever weekend that is. Like, we would just not, like, I don’t have the tolerance or the, the, there’s not enough alignment for us to want to go that deep. Like I would get really bored and I would have, I would have to be like social Cathy, which I generally don’t wanna be social Cathy. I wanna be authentic Cathy with people.

[00:04:35] Um, and so I think distinguishing and realizing that not everyone we meet. Is going to have the capacity to align. Like our plugs don’t match. Like, it’s like if you went to Europe and you had a US plug, it just doesn’t work. And if you forced it, sparks are gonna fly. Hmm. Um, not in the good way. So recognizing that not everyone has that, um, alignment with us, but they might still be a, a nice, uh, connection.

[00:05:02] Uh, someone that we can get, some we can get and give some joy in life. Some, some enjoyment in life. Um, but also we wanna talk in this course how this mini workshop, how to, things to recognize and how to go deeper with people that do have that capacity. And I think that’s really important to recognize.

[00:05:23] And I just wanna, if you would just take a moment, maybe take a deep breath. Let yourself come here and now and notice that if you’re here now live or in the recording, you’re a pretty awesome person. You are here on a Sunday when you could be with your feet up taking your afternoon nap or like, you know, doing whatever on the Sunday.

[00:05:45] You’re getting ready for work tomorrow, whatever. You’re here learning about how to be a better friend. And that’s, to me, I’m just really touched by that. There’s not, you know, not the average person. If you told them what you were doing, they might be like, I’m fine. Like, I learned how to be a friend in kindergarten and I’m good.

[00:06:03] And yet I want someone who’s a little more thoughtful and more willing to try new things and explore a little more. So the fact that you’re here, that alone says you’re kind of cool. You’re kind of a neat person for me. Um, and you wanna take things deeper. And I think it’s important to recognize that in ourselves because then we can see and recognize it in other people too.

[00:06:23] You’re, if you’re here, you’re probably not someone who takes friendship casually. He probably like, oh, it matters to me that this person, this person’s in my life. So I think just recognizing that is some way to like watch people and go, Hmm, that person seems really casual about their friends. They’re not very serious about, and it’s not that they can never make a mistake, but like if Rick says he is gonna call me, he either calls me or he has a good reason or will text me.

[00:06:50] So to me that’s showing up is really important. And different people have different things they find important. You get to decide what you want out of your friends, but I want people that are willing to go deep and, and want to put a little effort into cultivating and, and getting to know each other. And Rick and I have done that over 17 years now or something like that.

[00:07:11] Um, it’s been a while. So, um, we don’t start out with the depth of friendship that we might wanna create, but we have to start somewhere. And that’s hard, I think, um, for people. I imagine if you’re on this call, you’re someone who really can envision this depth. Rick and I can call, I can call him at three in the morning and say, oh my God, this came up and he’ll be there for me.

[00:07:34] Or he might say, you know, I am just, I had the baby was up all night. I don’t have the energy. Will you be okay if we talk in the morning? Like we have that trust with each other that he knows that. I’ll say, I really need 10 minutes, or, great, I’ll talk to you in the morning. But he’s been there for me at three in the morning through a lot of stuff, and I try to be there for him too.

[00:07:56] That doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s okay to like baby step and test the waters as you go. Start with a movie buddy. Start going to that movie, and then when you’re having the ice cream afterwards, open up a little more and we’re gonna talk about some ways to do that in a way that’s regulated for both of you.

[00:08:19] One of the, the challenges for me around friendship, um, I’m a very freedom oriented person, and so someone who is obligation oriented and I, um, there’s going to be like rules based versus agreements, like people that relate to others that I have all of these rules that people have to follow. And honestly, sadly, I’d had that, but they weren’t conscious.

[00:08:49] They were picked up and they didn’t sometimes actually match. And so one of the reasons we said being a good friend with safety is if, if I’m not aware of what, um, works for me, how I’m oriented, um, I’m not actually offering a stab, a stability into friendship. Um, And, and Cathy and I have a lot of tenderness 'cause trauma has a way of like triggering us.

[00:09:28] I believe that if I’m aware of my triggers, um, and I can, I know when they’re coming in, maybe I can’t stop them. Maybe I can’t regulate, but I won’t make it about the other person in the same way. And so when I think about grounding and regulating, it’s very regulating. I’ve been told in the friendships that I’ve been, uh, uh, kindling, um, that it’s very regulating for someone to hear not all at once as a, as a, as a memory dump.

[00:10:08] But over time, um, like, hey, that. That’s hard for me, just the way that I’m wired or my past experiences. Um, or yeah, I can’t actually go there and, and stay grounded. You know, I’ve, I’ve learned that about myself and I hear that you want to talk about that particular thing, but it’s not something that, that I can do.

[00:10:36] Um, someone invites me to a scary movie. Hey, you know, I, I can still vividly nightmarishly remember movies from when I was six. I’m pretty darn sure that that genre, if when there’s an AI that I can say, never even show me these movies anywhere, and it filters them all out, I’ll be woo-hoo there. Um, so I, if I had a movie buddy, I would need, I would want them to understand that it’s easier for me.

[00:11:09] If they don’t even ask me to go to Halloween 27, um, and that if they ask me, I’m going to say no. And, um,

[00:11:24] yeah, tap, tap, tap. And I’ll probably tap just as I, they tell them, no, never, ever. Don’t ask me again, please. And I, I, I think part of regulating is if I know that about myself and it’s in the air, um, somebody who’s tracking me, who wants some depth and kinship with me, or friendship with me, um, I can say, Hey, remember, you know, hey, that ain’t never gonna happen.

[00:11:51] Remember? Like that shortcut of, remember when we’re starting off, we don’t have that. And so the safety comes from me knowing myself. Um, so I don’t react with, oh, they like. Scary movies, I cannot be their friend. 'cause you notice, like when we run into things with people that are like repulsive to us, it doesn’t mean that we can’t find some real meshing of values, um, and of things that matter to us.

[00:12:28] But what, but there are things that are going to be the exceptions. And what we don’t know often early on is, are these people that can compartmentalize their desire to go see oh, wing 27. Um, or can’t they? And that would go for people that just don’t have the energy for political discussions. Um, you know, uh, I.

[00:12:53] I live with someone who does not want to have political discussions in the house. It is not nourishing for her home nest to have those discussions. It’s not that she’s oblivious to it, it just isn’t the place in the home for that. Now I’m really, I think, pretty darn good at hearing that and saying, yeah, that actually works really well for me too.

[00:13:14] Thank, thank goodness. , and it allows us to have a, a safe container even though we’re living together.

[00:13:23] I think it’s, that’s important to recognize that we don’t have to have, I, when I was brought up, there’s a lot of expectations. You talked a little bit about we have, we expect certain things from friendship or from people.

[00:13:34] We’re brought up with expectations and because we’re living in that soup when we’re little, our subconscious kind of absorbs it and it thinks all friendships should be like what we were taught when we were little and. Um, I was brought up with this fairytale, my True Friends and my true love will mesh completely.

[00:13:52] It won’t, there’s no, like, they will hate horror movies. I don’t like horror movies at all. Um, they will hate horror movies. They will. So Rick and I agree on that. We don’t agree on politics all the time. We have some actually really interesting discussions, but we don’t actually agree on, on everything on that when some of them we really disagree on.

[00:14:10] And it was hard for me at first. I thought I had to agree with everything and I would kind of contort myself if I like someone to kind of fit them and be just like them. And that actually can take all the spice out of a friendship, any kind of relationship if we’re just being, oh, I agree, everything is perfect like that.

[00:14:28] But it was a childhood expectation I had and I had to dissolve that expectation. And the, the ones we absorbed from, Infancy are really sometimes hard to dissolve because we can’t catch them. They’re kind of just part of our d n a almost. And, but once we can consciously catch, catch them, we can pull 'em and like go, huh, that’s not, that’s not how I really wanna be.

[00:14:49] I’m gonna put that one, you know, in the six, that pile and, and adjust it. So as we’re, as we’re coming through this. Recognizing that some of the best friends I’ve had are ones that will stretch me and help me grow in ways that I wouldn’t have expected. They may disagree with me and I may think, oh, that’s horrible, but initially 'cause my early childhood condition conditioning.

[00:15:12] But then, oh, huh, what if I do wanna try this thing they’re doing? Or what if? And some things like horror movies are no, because I know I’ll have nightmares for, for weeks. It’s not good for my, my nervous system, but other things, oh, I’ve never tried that type of food. I’ve never tried, you know, I’ve had, I have a dear friend that has taken me on some adventures that I would never go on my, but I’ve gone with him and had a really lovely time.

[00:15:38] So we get to decide where we wanna risk it or not. And I think this is where the grounding comes in, because the better we know ourselves and the more we can take care of our own nervous system and help other people regulate, the more we can connect in authentic ways. So many people. I grew up in a family where everything was reaction based.

[00:15:59] There wasn’t a calm, grounded, like this is what I choose. Everyone was very depleted. Everyone was really, we had the, I think of the life motto and it was ignore, pretend, and if you can’t ignore and pretend you attack somebody else. That was kind of how we all grew up. Mm-hmm. This is not how I want to live.

[00:16:17] Oh. Like a great friendship and there’s a lot of blaming and shitting on each other and controlling each other to try to get what we wanted. And I’ve really tried with, especially with Rick, he was one of the first people that introduced me to grounding techniques and how to like be in my body. But, um, Being permissive with each other, like, I would like to do this.

[00:16:38] Would you like to be with me when I do this? Would you like to participate? Versus if I can’t, if he says no, my early childhood would be like, he doesn’t love me anymore. He doesn’t care. I’ve gotta manipulate him and beg or contort until he does what I want him to, so that I feel loved. Does that make sense?

[00:16:57] Yeah. So I think the more we can stay grounded with ourselves, including with our disappointed feelings or our sad feelings, or our fearful feelings, the more we can be true with another person. And the more we can take the depth with the right people, deeper, if we’re in reaction mode, it’s very hard to be authentic with anyone, and that’s not anyone’s fault.

[00:17:20] Our survival brain. Many of us grew up with experiences. Our society is not good right now. There’s a lot of trauma just built into being alive. And then a lot of our parents didn’t know how to do things any better. So we have a lot of trauma reactions built in. And by you being here in the calls, Rick and I do, and the circle and tapping, you’re teaching your survival brain a different way of being a less reactive way.

[00:17:46] But that doesn’t mean you won’t sometimes still react. I certainly do. There’s times when I call Rick and I really want to talk and he’s not available and I have to like, okay, I’m breathing for a minute, I’m actually gonna be okay. Who else can I call? What else can I do? But there’s that like 10 seconds, that used to be half an hour.

[00:18:04] That used to be like a, you know, like my friend doesn’t love me anymore 'cause he didn’t answer the phone where I have to go, okay, I can actually take care of myself. That reg, that self-regulation and then co-regulation was someone else. Yeah. Well, and, and you make the point, and I appreciate your vulnerability of sharing that in your life journey.

[00:18:26] There were times where, um, if somebody didn’t come through for you, it hit that really raw trigger of, um, I was expecting unconditional love and response, and this person wasn’t available for it. Now, if your childhood was full of regulation and co-regulation and, and that, you know, bids for attention and need when you were hurt or, or scared or whatever, was always, almost always available.

[00:19:03] I won’t say always, um, but almost always it was reliably available. Then maybe you don’t hit adulthood with that, but guess what? I, that wasn’t my life. And it wasn’t Kathie’s life. So part of the being a good friend does not mean that you’re always going to be regulated or you’ll always be able to self-regulate it.

[00:19:28] To me, I became a much safer friend when I could recognize, oh, I’m actually expecting that person to be like my unconditional, unconditional love, unconditional friend, mommy, daddy. Like I start feeling really young, like really young. Before I could speak young. If I notice that about myself and I do the work, then when it comes up, we create a pathway that isn’t two months or a loss of a friendship.

[00:20:06] It’s, Hey, okay, so this is going on, and we build a circle of support. It’s one of the reasons why we have the Thriving Now circle. I believe that if we get used to co-regulating and hearing each other around these things, there’s, there’s less that needs to go right at the person themselves. I don’t really want to treat my partner or my friend and or Cathy or any of you, like I’m 18 months old.

[00:20:37] It doesn’t mean that my nervous system may not go there. I welcome the fact that, like, Cathy and I have a short, how old do you feel? And if I say I feel three, you know, like I get to be pouty in three. But she, there’s now an adult and a three-year-old that I’m, I’m with this kind of approach is, um, something that is an energetically and emotionally sensitive human.

[00:21:04] Um, we’re together today, here, cultivating this awareness. Am I regulated? No. Okay. Well, I’m in my primitive brain. My only job is, is really to reregulate myself. Mm-hmm. And to practice being open to and cultivating co-regulation with others. That could be an app on your phone that helps you co co-regulate with, with a voice.

[00:21:33] Um, you know, I, I probably have how many voicemails that say, Hey, I just was calling to hear your voice. Mm-hmm. Cathy, my voice is co-regulating for Cathy, hers too. Because we practice that aware, like, Hey, we practice co-regulation before we start doing other stuff. We check in, we co-regulate, we get on the same.

[00:22:00] And if we can’t, we recognize that, hey, I’m not, I’m not in a place where I can regulate together in our we space. I think that comes, someone asked about the definition of friendship, and I think that comes down to someone, it’s a Britannica dictionary, says A person you like and enjoy being with. And also someone who supports someone or something, a friend of a charity or a person.

[00:22:24] And I think to our survival brain, if we take it outta the clinical, necessarily into the survival brain, which really does drive a lot of what we do to the survival brain. A friend is an ally. Someone who’s gonna stick by you and be there with you. And like, so when, if Rick calls and say, we have a really bad conversation.

[00:22:42] I have enough history and experience with him to know that he’s not mad at me necessarily. Like there might be something we have to clean up, but that he’s my ally. He means well and he loves me. So that, that to me, that’s our friendship. I know that the deeper the friendship, the more trust we have that that person is really gonna be there for us.

[00:23:01] And someone else shared that they, during covid and also politically right now, it’s very hard. Um, I date people that are a, I call it awesome sexual. I date people that are awesome. I don’t care what gender they are. And I’ve had friends that were very pro-Trump and I was like, I have trouble being friends with you because you are, you’re voting for someone who is actively threatening my lifestyle and taking my safety away.

[00:23:28] Um, and so that it made it very hard and that was a hard line. I did, I did walk away from, from some, some friendships and then I had other friends that were willing to talk to me about it and they said, I like these, this part of the financial fiscal. Fiscal parts of it, but I, I agree this, this person is doing hard things and I was like, I really struggle if you’re gonna vote for that person that’s taking away so many.

[00:23:52] So like my life felt much less safe. And if you’re voting for that person, I have trouble being your friend. And I had to make choices and I did lose some friends and people did over covid as well. For some of that, it is a choice. I don’t choose to be supportive or an ally to someone who is willing to be, uh, supportive of someone that vindictive.

[00:24:15] And, um, I judge that Trump is very irrational. I don’t feel safe when Trump is in president was president. That was my choice. During Covid, people’s survival brains were very activated. We were still trying to figure out like, how do we stay safe with this? And different people had very different opinions, partly politically separated, but very different opinions on how to stay safe during that.

[00:24:41] And it didn’t. And people as well. So there may come up some hard things that we have to make choices on and decide, do I wanna support this belief or do I wanna start, do I still want to be supportive of this person, or can I find a way to be both? So I think it’s important to realize that there are some beliefs that may take precedence over certain friendships or family relationships.

[00:25:04] For me, that certainly has been the case. And then there’s other friendships that were deep enough that I was willing to like hash it out with 'em. Um, and like, like, let’s talk this through and find a way that we can be in balance with each other. I’d really like you to hear me, how threatened I feel and I, I’m willing to listen to you because I care about you enough and trust that you care about me too.

[00:25:25] Does that, um, I thought it was a good comment. Someone said, and I just wanna just kind of bring that up because there can be really hard, like when we’re going through tough times, friendships are, are stressed and they can either get stronger and deeper or they may fracture. And that’s very sad. But it’s not, I think if we can separate the fact that it’s not about me, that I’m not lovable, it’s about this person has certain beliefs and values that don’t match mine at a really fundamental level.

[00:25:55] And I, it’s okay for me to take care of myself by walking away. Do you wanna do some tapping on that, Rick? Well, I wanted to, um, I think those of us that were listening and, and writing the emotions of that with you, um, used the term threatened, you know, four or five times. Mm-hmm. And I, I know that part of me knowing myself is what’s actually gonna put me in my primitive brain.

[00:26:21] Mm-hmm. And in some cases, unavoidably put me in my primitive brain. There may be things that I can accept and other things that are just, I can’t, um, I. I find it extremely difficult to be around people who are not, who are intoxicated. Mm-hmm. So, my right distance, right depth, which is my, my term for how we’re calibrating around a person, um, or a community, um, for people that drinking is the way that they relate and they tune to each other.

[00:27:03] Um, I was, my dad was an alcoholic, you know, I found myself out on a boat having a great time with a raging drunk, like I. My nervous system is already like, please don’t ever take us there again. I’m not gonna go camping with someone who’s trying to figure out how do you fit 36 beers into a cooler that only holds 24 and keep 'em cold.

[00:27:33] I’ve heard that conversation. I, and so like, if I’m regulated, I have clarity. If I’m triggered or feel threatened, that is just my like, Hey, I can’t go there. I can’t go there. Um, and I, for those of us that, that do value freedom more than obligation and choice in its entirety more than you have to do it my way or else there still is, as Cathy points out this place, which is like the sacred decision, um, the sacred parting even where it’s like, Yeah, this doesn’t work for me to invest my precious life force in a relationship where we are.

[00:28:23] Um, we’re not gonna be coming at it from the same vantage point. It doesn’t feel like I, where I wanna put my co-creative energy, to me, the, there’s the clinical definition of friendship and then there’s the, you know, hey, if friendships to me are co-creations, and the more that I make that conscious, and I use that in my, my language with people, what do you want to co-create in your life?

[00:28:54] Now, if I ask that to someone and they say what co-create, like if they, they turn up their nose, um, you know, they’re probably not in a place. Ooh. But I’ve heard people say, oh, co-create. Yeah, I love that. What do you mean? And, and we’ve got something moving there and we start exploring what we want to co-create.

[00:29:20] Um, I believe in the optout that comes with freedom, including the optout for somebody to not, not talk to someone who would like them to be obligated by blood or, um, expectation for them to do certain things or be a certain way. That makes me way out on the weird spectrum. Um, whether you spell it w y r D in the old style or w e I r d, I’m weird.

[00:29:49] Um, I, and it matters to me. And so like if somebody, if somebody takes me to the airport and their expectation is I will be obligated to say yes when they ask me to take them to the airport, we, we need to clean that up. It’s one thing if you say, Hey, I’m glad to take you to the airport. If you’re willing to take me next month, when at the state, like you can, exchanges are totally fine as long as they’re explicit and spoken.

[00:30:19] But so much of our society, I just, sorry if I interrupted you, Rick, but I think so much of our society, I watch friendships at work a lot. I love to watch people and it seems like it’s a mutual obligation kind of exchange where they’re like, I’m doing this for you, not because I love and s wanna support you and want your life to be better as a free gift of my heart, but as, okay, you better do this back for me.

[00:30:43] And a lot of people like in work relationships, sometimes that’s somewhat functional. I’ll, you know, quid pro quo, but that’s not how I wanna have my deepest friendships, and that’s not really even how I wanna have my work friendships. I’d rather be nourished enough that I can offer for my heart. A gift to this person because I care about them and want them to succeed and feel good about themselves and then receive, if they choose to give back and then kind of watch, how does that deepen?

[00:31:10] Is there an exchange? Unfortunately, I think most people aren’t depleted enough. They don’t have that free giving. And for people on this call, I imagine that you’re doing things to deepen the nourishment you have in your world, the, the abundance you have in your world, emotionally and energetically and physically.

[00:31:29] So you can say, Hey, what is a yes for me to give here? How do I wanna appreciate this person? Can I give it freely? Or if I wanna give an exchange, can I, like Rick and I have done this like neither, like both. Like I’ll help you with this if you help me with that, like that’s totally okay. But it’s explicit rather than this guilt obligation soup that a lot of people seem to swim in.

[00:31:54] And that’s where the savvy part of. To me for being a, a good friend to myself and a good friend offering to certain people is, I know I’m sensitive to obligation. It can make me rebel. It can make me like, uh, reject someone rather than, and again, like emotional freedom work to me in my life, in my body is, oh, they said no.

[00:32:25] I’m noticing, uh, I feel pissed 'cause I’ve done so much for them. I really am pissed and I’ll tap like this. Like, I’m, I’m starting to feel like really taken advantage of. And, um, you know what, what matters to me is freedom. And I don’t want people to do things for obligation. I don’t want, I really don’t, I don’t want people to do things for obligation.

[00:32:52] Yeah, obligation is is not good for me. Obligation is not good for me. Oh,

[00:33:04] I’m glad they took care of themselves. I’m glad they took care of themselves and now I’m gonna figure out what I need to do, and now I’m gonna figure out what I need to do. And I think that, that there’s. Power in that, doing some tapping to calm ourselves down and then say, I, like, I am noticing that I’m giving more in this area.

[00:33:25] And I’ve, Rick and I have talked about that. I feel like I’m doing more here and I’m would really love some reciprocity. Both of us have said that on occasion. Um, and we try to do it before it gets to resentment. And I, nobody’s perfect, and I do a lot of radical honesty, some parts of which I like, some parts I don’t.

[00:33:44] But one of the things in radical honesty is to go to someone and saying, and if we can, if we’ve done some tapping and calming, we can do it without accusation and just say, I’m noticing that I feel a little resentful when I do this one task. I imagine that. I’m doing more than you are, and I’d love to talk about a way to feel better about that.

[00:34:03] I don’t want resentment between us and that’s kind of a black belt move. Um, but if we can say it calmly and the other person has tries enough trust, there’s a lot of opening that can come from that. We’re sharing a truth about ourselves without saying the other person is wrong or bad. Like, Hey, I’m noticing that I’m feeling resentment.

[00:34:23] I’d like to clear it up because I don’t want it in our friendship. Um, I think that can really open up the conversation if both people can stay grounded through it. It’s a tough one. So I like to practice with baby steps first. If I’m getting to know someone, I might try it on something that’s really trivial and not too important to see if we can handle it.

[00:34:44] Do you have some tapping you wanna do? Even though that conversation would freak some people out, even though that conversation would freak some people out, and I know that and I know that I don’t need to try it with them. I don’t need to try it with them top of the head. I’m free to try it or not. I’m free to try it or not eyebrow.

[00:35:05] And some people I know cannot handle that and some people I know cannot handle that side of the eye. That would be a language they don’t understand. That would be a language they don’t understand under the eye. At least I can have the conversation with myself, at least I can have that conversation with myself, who knows?

[00:35:24] And find small steps and find small steps, chin with people that share that value. People that share that value. Yeah, the value of authenticity. The value of authenticity and cleaning things up and cleaning things up. But some people don’t. Some people don’t some, and it’s okay. And it’s okay. Oh yeah. I have a number of people in my life that couldn’t handle that conversation, that can’t hear any resentment or negative, anything negative about them.

[00:35:57] They’re very depleted and that’s okay, but they’re not going to, probably not gonna go as deep in the relationship with them because there’s not that mutual, um, sharing. And I think Rick shared in the beginning, like he’s someone who’s very good at responding to things. I end up calling him probably 90% of the time, partly 'cause I work at a day job.

[00:36:20] So like my schedule’s busier, so I have a few minutes I call him. But if I didn’t know he was a responder, I might find, feel my, you know, I, I’d be like, why doesn’t he ever call me? Luckily we know each other and we’re both articulate about our self discoveries. So he shared that with me early on. I’m much better at, you know, responding to a call.

[00:36:40] I’m really glad you call me. I’m. Just not so good at reaching out. And that helped my, my nervous system like it, you know, there might be a time when I could text him saying, I really use you reaching out to me because maybe that’s what I need at that time. But overall, that flow seems to work fine for us because I know, and I know he loves me and he is, he’s very glad to talk to me 95% of the time.

[00:37:04] Occasionally he’s like knee deep and baby stuff and he’s like, uh, can I talk to you later? I’m like, sure, talk to you later. But the more we know ourselves and can articulate that for other people, I don’t, you know, the Cinderella story where Prince Charming or Friendship Charming, they just know us is all well and good, but if we don’t articulate ourselves, most people are not going to intuit enough for a relationship to be really smooth.

[00:37:31] And I also think it’s really sexy when someone can articulate something about them and share it. Like, I, you know, this is something my nervous system can really use. Are you willing to provide it? Um, I find that.

[00:37:47] So, um, someone shared in the chat, and this is a, a tender situation, which has happened to so many people I know and care about. And, um, uh, even to myself. Um, my best friend of the last 13 years ended our friendship about six months ago, expressing that another friend’s comment, which I agreed with off the cuff, hurt them and said, I didn’t know them.

[00:38:15] I’ve made many efforts to work on resolving the issue to no end. I have experienced this void from the loss and I have put my attention on other relationships, but the void persists.

[00:38:30] That’s really tough. I’m so sorry. Um,

[00:38:37] I have noticed in my life that, that the.

[00:38:46] The exit velocity response of, you don’t understand me or you don’t know me. Um, 99.9% of the time comes from trauma. They’ve, they’ve launched the getaway rocket. And, um, that kind of exit velocity is really challenging and often doesn’t resolve itself, no matter how emotionally savvy you are, how much you hurt or express all the languages of apology.

[00:39:27] Um,

[00:39:32] part of part of me restoring safety inside myself for the void can be and has been, um, I acknowledge that this person was in their primitive brain, that this kind of flight from a a 13 year relationship where this is, it obviously lit something. Um, and so I want to what, and this is like going deeper into, um, grieving, um,

[00:40:26] it’s, it’s like a death to lose a friend of that long. Um, I think that acceptance mm-hmm. Accepting that they’re free. They’re free to take care of themselves regardless of how un artful or hurtful even, and I believe that, I think it’s a, a very difficult place to stand. I don’t, I don’t even necessarily invite everyone to stand there with me, but if I have a friend who isn’t free to leave, then I bound them.

[00:41:03] And not in a good way. I don’t know what, I don’t know what change is gonna happen in someone’s life. I don’t know what, what thing, and, and it’s reciprocal. If, if I couldn’t, I can’t imagine not being friends with Cathy. But we are free to make the decision now if one of us flipped the fuck out and just exited the friendship.

[00:41:37] We’ve talked about that. 'cause it happens. Mental illness can strike a stroke that you don’t even know you had a stroke and now you’re a different person. Well, and it doesn’t even have to be deep mental illness. It could be a trauma like maybe you. Something you said reminded them of an unresolved trauma that they had and it, they may not even be aware that it’s close to that.

[00:41:58] You may not be aware of the landmine that was hidden there. So like, it could certainly be mental, people go into mental illness, just like any illness that can happen. But having hi unresolved trauma to me are these landmines that are beneath the surface and we’re walking along thinking, I know this path really well and we just hit it just right and it blows up and, and everybody’s surprised and everybody’s like, what happened?

[00:42:24] And that’s when we can regulate and ground and realize that many of us are reacting to old memories and experiences. The more unresolved trauma we have, the more stories are going through our system. And that’s one of the things I love about radical honesty. And again, I don’t love everything about it, but.

[00:42:43] Own stories. So I might see someone, one of the people watching the video, and for all I know they have Facebook up and they’re reacting to Facebook. I hope you’re here with us. But you know, I don’t know, but I see a look on their face and I make a story about it that may have nothing to do with what’s going on.

[00:43:03] And that’s a small example of what can happen when a trauma happens. It’s this huge story with lots of emotional impact. Um, but the more we can realize that sometimes people are reacting to something that’s all internal to them and we just brush close enough to set off that landmine, we resonated close enough that the landmine went off, but not because we did anything wrong or that we even knew it was there.

[00:43:27] Sometimes that can help. Um, I don’t know. I think often there’s a lot of blame or questioning like, did I do something wrong? Could I have done something different? Landmines that exist from old traumas, we can be cautious and careful and consider of our friends, but we. Don’t know where they’re buried. The whole thing about land old traumas buried deep.

[00:43:46] They’re, we, we hid them to get through childhood. We buried them well and we learned to pretend they weren’t there so that we could exist. And then our friend is just merrily walking around lo the road happy and engaging with us and boom. So I like to hang out with people that are actively working on their traumas.

[00:44:07] I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t have some trauma that they haven’t resolved. So I’m not asking for anyone that’s all healed, but I want someone that’s conscious of those of those wounds and maybe they drift. Like if Rick and I blew up at each other, maybe I said something that, you know, really affected him and affected a trauma.

[00:44:24] Though he’s very conscious of his old traumas. I imagine we’d be, we might have to like give each other a little space, but I would hope that we could talk and over time intensities from traumas often diminish with time, and sometimes we let them out at the people we’re safest with. Yeah. We let out those feelings first with people we’re safest with because they’re the only person we feel safe enough to actually experience those energies with.

[00:44:52] So I know that doesn’t make it all better, but it can als it, it might give some context to hang it on.

[00:45:03] Yeah. There,

[00:45:10] part of, to me being a, a safe and courageous friend is that I have awareness of of P T S D. Isn’t this like, oh, they have PS P T S D I have. Lived with people who have complex P T S D. I’ve loved people who have complex P T S D. I’m friends with people who have complex P T S D. And because I’m trauma aware, it doesn’t mean that I, I tolerate abuse, but it changes the perspective so that if a natural disaster happens, I’m viewing it as, you know, fires sometimes happen and tornadoes happen, and tsunamis happen, and volcanoes happen, and earthquakes happen, and it’s tragic when something like that happens.

[00:46:07] And to me, you know, certainly the traumas in my life are a bit like fault lines. You know, I, I shared the one, like there’s some really cool guys. I mean, I like them from a distance. They’re easygoing, they’re fun, they’re jolly, and they’re not drunks. They’re, I’ve never seen them mean they’re great dads, but guess what?

[00:46:33] I can’t go camping with them. I can’t. God bless me. That is a fault line where I am not putting myself on the fault line. Right. Fault being there. Yeah. And so for me to know that I might even be able to reflect to them, say, you know, I had, I had this thing growing up and I don’t see any sign that you’re at all like my dad, but just the smell of beer, to be honest, especially stale beer.

[00:47:01] I’m done like I am. You do not want rickety rick the werewolf at your campground. You know, so I’ll stay home and we’ll, you know, we’ll play, we’ll play Frisbee games with the kids. Yeah. Um, That to me, I believe, makes me a safer friend than to, to pretend that I am, or even to even consider myself weak. You know, I don’t, I don’t consider, um, triggers and things, uh, to be weakness.

[00:47:38] Could we,

[00:47:43] You comment that, um, the moving on, like I don’t matter. And I’d love to do a round of tapping on the, the belief that the thought, the story that I don’t matter. Because I think for many of us, if a friendship ends, there’s a lot of, I didn’t matter enough. And I certainly felt that like, um, a friend of mine that was a very big Trump supporter, when they, they were like, I can’t, I’m only gonna support Trump.

[00:48:06] I’m gonna give money. And I was just like, do I not matter to you? Like there’s, that’s very painful story and I’d love to do a little tapping on it. Karate chop. Even though I think this means that I don’t matter to them, even though it thinks it, I think that, even though I think I, that was our seven minute break warning.

[00:48:27] Let’s do a start tapping, try again. Even though I think this means that I don’t matter to them, even though I think this means that I don’t matter enough to them. And that really hurts and that hurts. That may be true, that may be true, and it might be other things entirely, and it might be other things entirely.

[00:48:52] Even though I have a lot of grief about this, even though I have tremendous grief about this, I can allow myself to grieve. I can allow myself to grieve and honor the friendship we had and honor the friendship we had, and also know that I do matter and also know that I do matter top of the head. Maybe I don’t matter to them.

[00:49:15] Maybe I don’t matter to them. How about maybe they were just triggered as fuck. Maybe they were just triggered as fuck. Maybe I mattered enough that they could let this stuff up with me. Maybe I mattered enough that they could bring this up with me under vi, and then they couldn’t handle the strength of the landmine and they couldn’t handle the strength of the landmine.

[00:49:39] Under the nose. In any case, I can matter.

[00:49:45] In any case, I, it broke up a little bit. I can matter to me chin and I can find other people that I matter to and I can find other people that I matter to Kone. I can honor the grief that’s coming up. I can honor the grief that’s coming up under the arm and acknowledge they may not have made a rational decision about leaving and acknowledge they may not have made a rational decision about leaving top of the head.

[00:50:16] I can matter to me. I can matter to me. Just take a breath, see if that helps or brings up something because it is hard when someone leaves, it’s easy. We, we do as a society, as our survival brain, our as beings, we set our value and friends that value us. That’s part of what we, we judge our, our value in the world as.

[00:50:39] And it’s okay to do that. There’s nothing wrong, but when we are leaning too heavily out of friendship versus what we’re creating versus our own internal value, we can, it can be a little bit out of balance. And so it’s sometimes good to remind ourselves that can matter to me. I can matter to other people.

[00:50:56] This one friendship that was close, it’s really hard and it hurts and I can grieve it, but it’s not the end all indicator of what I my worth, if that makes sense. Hmm. Thank you. Um, wanna add one thing here? We often talk about the primitive brain as you know, the fight, flight, freeze fawn responses. Um, tribalism is something that’s in the primitive brain.

[00:51:30] If, if you look at somebody that’s looking at somebody that’s in an us versus them, and it doesn’t matter whether the US versus them is based upon looks, attitudes, which sports jersey the other person is wearing, if that part of them lights up us versus them, um, that’s a primitive brain reaction and it puts us really like on opposite sides of the battle lines, primitively.

[00:52:05] We’ve been fighting other tribes and protecting ourselves from other tribes longer than we certainly had the English language. Um, and maybe, you know, I, when I notice people who are very, um, much in that mindset, I understand that they may not be safe for me because I do a lot, a lot to, um, be accepting even of unwanted realities is existing.

[00:52:43] Um, and I tend to know that if I’m falling into tribal, I am not myself, it doesn’t mean that I am, that things aren’t fundamentally important to me. But tribal oriented things have a particular vibe that makes me feel, um, very uneasy. And so just sharing that, because I. Um, that can come up in families, um,

[00:53:21] different parts of the family against another part, and you can get that feeling like, I’m not, I don’t belong. If you have a feeling of not belonging with others, chances are sniff the air. Does it smell tribal like cliques and other things? You know, these are, these are tribal kinds of energies and I’m not putting down indigenous tribes, certainly.

[00:53:50] Um, I’m talking about the kind of part of our primitive brain that other arises, us versus them. Um, and so it’s the us versus them that can, can rise in companies, in families, in communities. And all those things. We’re gonna take a seven minute break. We invite you to take care of yourself. We’re gonna pause recording and if you’re watching, hey, um, we invite you to take a break too, and we’ll be back in seven minutes.

[00:54:21] Nice. The chat is open. You’re welcome to leave notes. Welcome. Welcome back. I hope your break was good. Some people are asking about the, that, what Rick described as tribal energy. And I try to stay away from the tribal word because, just because in the groups I’m in that’s considered like tribe is considered like Indian nations.

[00:54:42] We wanna stay away from, that’s just the culture I’m in. But, um, a lot of people in the therapy world call it triangulation. So if I wanna feel close to Rick, I might talk about his partner or someone else in a negative way. Um, so in my family, that’s a really big thing. If I wanna feel close to my mother, I put down my one sister.

[00:55:03] Um, and that helps us feel like we’re in the, in-crowd, were together versus this other outside thing. People in politics do that all the time. Um, there’s a lot of phobia around, you know, the people that are very conservative, they’re like them, they, them, the trans transsexuals or the queer people or whatever that they are like this.

[00:55:25] Against them at being a queer person. I know that we’re not actually trying to take over the world or anything like that, or take away rights. So it’s kind of silly. But, um, that, that’s a way that people can get close to feel close in an artificial way. I’m creating a connection by putting someone else down or making danger outside or someone’s not good, versus if I’m upset with my sister going to actually talking to my sister.

[00:55:52] So what Rick had been wanting to talk about was being vulnerable, and I think it segues beautifully. So there’s the primitive brain reactive way to get close to someone by putting down somebody or creating an outside danger. Um, I Judge Fox News is very good at this and making everyone afraid of things so they, they pull closer.

[00:56:12] Um, and I think a lot of, I, I read a really interesting article. I just wanna add that about, um, really religious folks, how they tell them to try to recruit and they say it’s the actual. People that helped build the, the collectiveness in the church. So if people did listen to people trying to pro ize that people wouldn’t, would go, they wouldn’t feel so threatened and judged and they wouldn’t run back to the church and be so closely connected.

[00:56:41] So if they, you know, the fact that people go, please stop talking about that and kind of judge them, creates a closeness in that church of we have to stick together. We’re the only ones that are right. Everyone else judges us. So there’s, we can create that sense of closeness through fear and othering and, and judgment.

[00:57:01] Or we can take the courage we have and practice talking directly and being vulnerable and sharing who we really are with people and talking directly. Like instead of, if I was upset with, with Rick, I might go to Jean if I was in my primitive brain. Jeanie is so bad he never does anything. He just blah blah, blah.

[00:57:19] I’m make and really exaggerating. Anytime we say always and never. Brain, we’re probably reactive, we’re pro. And if we’re talking to someone else, it’s different. I might call Rick up and say, Hey, I need to vent for a minute, and then I wanna have a practice conversation on how I’m gonna fix this. That’s very different.

[00:57:39] That’s, you know, I, I judge, that’s okay. I might need to blow off some steam. Oh my God. Rah rah. How could they do that? Okay, this is what’s actually going on. I’m calmed down. Now if I’m doing it to process, that’s different than if I’m trying to do it to just be close to Rick or to make someone else bad or wrong.

[00:58:00] Um, does that, did I explain that clearly? Yeah. And that’s where the savvy is. If, if you’re the type of person that, when you’re, when there’s a situation that’s, um, You just need to vent, for example. And you know that venting energetically is actually helpful to you. Um, venting to the person who, who instigated the need to vent.

[00:58:26] I, I haven’t seen that usually end up very well. That’s, that’s like a 10th degree black belt sort of thing. Um, but to co-regulate with someone, to, to co-regulate with someone like, Hey, I’ve got this energy I need to vent. That’s a shortcut, especially if you’ve already set the frame. So like if I say, Hey, can I vent for a minute?

[00:58:53] What I want you to do is check in with yourself to see whether you can hear my. Like how I’ve been treated, mistreated, um, these terrible expectations and other things, and any of that. Can you hold that space for me for a few minutes so that I can get this out and I’m not carrying it solely within myself.

[00:59:20] Now, if we have that conversation with somebody that we would like to vent with and they say, actually, if you vent to me, I’m gonna want to go and kill the person. Like, I’m going to go directly to my Dragon Slayer. I am going to pull my sword. Where are they? They need to, they need to suffer. They, you know, so like, maybe not the best person to vent to.

[00:59:49] And when she says, can I vent for a minute? And I’m actually like this close to being like, I just need to be a dragon slayer. I, I really probably want to say, Hey, I am got a lot going on right now. Um, can we talk in a little bit? Why? Because she’s not asking for a dragon slayer. She’s asking to vent. And so the savvy part of this dynamic is we’re cultivating people in our lives, finding out where, what, how do you handle, how do they handle this?

[01:00:22] And not necessarily just by testing. I do believe we get information back, but it’s often, um, corrupted. So I’m, I got a, I’m inspired by something that someone said in the chat, but I’ll, I’ll own it myself. So there was something really important to me. And I really wanted to talk to my partner about it.

[01:00:46] And so I took the first opportunity that we had to start talking about it. And I did not check in with her. And she, her, the look on her face, her energy and her attitude was like, this is not important to me. I’m listening to you only because little obligation thrown in there or just willingness to stretch.

[01:01:14] Um,

[01:01:18] if something really matters to me, if it’s emotionally vulnerable, if it is, if it is something I really need to be heard around, um, it is unsavvy for me not to say, Hey, I’m finding myself really needing to be heard and understood by you. Is now a good time or can we set aside time with intention for you?

[01:01:44] If, if you’re willing to, to hold space around this, um, it might even take us, you know, 20 minutes, which is for her and I, a big chunk of alone time. Um, now if I say that, um, I like to pre pave that savvy request with, and please, and please say no if it’s not right for you. Why? Because if somebody says that to me, I’ve noticed when Cathy does that and please say no.

[01:02:21] If, if it’s not the right time, I feel free to really consider because she’s preppa permission for me to easily, even if I don’t. Want to say no to her to easily say no if it isn’t actually a yes. This kind of of dynamic, it’s new. I, I, I know that not everyone is into it. It’s, it’s so beautiful. Like it is, it is so beautiful to be, to be pre-framed.

[01:03:04] Listen, please say no if it’s not absolutely a yes for you right this minute. Um, I have something I wanna share something that’s really dear to me. And, um, and what I’m gonna want, if, if it’s a yes, is for you to hear me without interruption, and then for you to reflect back what you heard so that I can really feel, um, met.

[01:03:31] Heard, I just point out a few things you did there. Yeah. So one, you’re giving the other person permission, but it’s also a request for me. So with Rick, I can just say, say no if you want. I have another friend where I have to remind him 'cause he’ll push himself to be there. I have to say, if you’re gonna be impatient or frustrated with me, I will be able to tell and it will not give me what I need.

[01:03:50] So please only be there if you’re a yes. Like I have to be much more explicit with him because he’s like one of these martyr people that, oh, I’ll be there for you. But I can tell 'cause he’s sitting there with his eyes. So judge who you talk to, but with Rick, I can just tell him. But he is, it’s not just for, it’s not just for the other person.

[01:04:09] When you say, please say no, it’s also like, what do you wanna receive? Rick also is pre-framing it and saying, this is really important to me. He’s letting the other person know I wanna share something that’s tender or vulnerable. And then he is also saying what he what? Be for them. And that’s a really good question to ask.

[01:04:28] If the person doesn’t preframe it, what would you like to be like me to be for you here? Do you want me to be a sounding board? Someone who just listens and you know, says, oh my God, that you know, like sometimes you want agreement for while I’m venting. I want someone say, yeah, they suck, they’re horrible.

[01:04:43] I can’t believe they did that. Like, do you want that or do you want someone just to quietly listen? Do you want feedback? Do you want coaching? If you ask them, what would you like me to be for you? It might be several things. I want you to listen to me vent until I tell you I’m done venting, and then I would really love your feedback and I wanna get some like practice conversations in there so that I can go ahead and do that.

[01:05:06] So you can tell them, they can give them the freedom, but also tell them it’s important to you for them to be in a space where they can really hear you. So you’re kind of pre-framing that. There’s freedom there. Telling them what they, what you want, like what you need out of this. Like this is really important to me.

[01:05:21] I want you to be present. If you’re in impatient mood, this is not gonna be a good, good time for me to share. Let’s talk another time. And then telling them how you’d love for them to hold space for you. That sets them up to win. And for you to get what you want. Or for them to say, Hey, listen, I just am not in a space where I can do that.

[01:05:38] I would love to be. Maybe we could do it tomorrow. Or is there someone else like you could talk to in the meantime? Whatever that is, it gives a lot of room and expansion for people to win versus, you know, and it might be that, Hey, I can be there for you for a couple minutes, but I really am exhausted. I can’t do the coaching, but I can just listen to you event for a couple minutes if you want, and tell you I love you, and then I’ve gotta go take care of myself.

[01:06:02] We’re letting, we’re letting each other dance. There’s a dance there where we’re actually specifying what steps we wanna take together. And then also improv. There’s room for like, hey, you know, like what? What will work for you? And I love that, like what Rick demonstrated was just really beautiful. It sets things up for, we can be deep and connected.

[01:06:24] And actually ask for what we want. And that takes courage and practice. A lot of us do not have the muscles to ask for what we want. It’s very awkward. So it’s okay to say I haven’t been practicing asking for what I want very much. I feel very shy and awkward about this. Can I practice with you? Can I be shy and awkward?

[01:06:43] Can I stumble a little bit? True. Friendship evolves from when we step out of our comfort zones. We each, we gradually grow with somebody, and that means we’re gonna be awkward sometimes. Dear Lord, Rick has seen me at my most awkward and ugly and snot running down my face. And like, you don’t have to start there, but like we want to be with people that can really see all of us ideally and we’ll find some people can see us all that way and some people can’t.

[01:07:10] But that vulnerability that we’re building that Rick demonstrated by saying, this is what I’d like, that takes courage. It sounds really easy when he does it 'cause he is practiced for so long. But for most of us it’s like, oh, that’s really vulnerable. My bare naked beating heart. And if you say no, that’s, that’s really gonna hurt.

[01:07:30] So we can practice. Having a circle of friends is really good too. So like Rick is my dearest friend, I also have some other friends I can call up and say, Hey listen, Rick’s not available or I just wanna talk to the, that flavor of person is a better fit for that. So I just wanna emphasize what you said 'cause I thought it was really important.

[01:07:54] I, it’s vital to me if I’m gonna be emotionally free and, and have emotional freedom for all this, to me it’s a, a, it is consent. It’s also if I don’t do that and I don’t get what I expected based upon the relationship or the friendship or what, you know, like, oh, they forgot or they didn’t remember, I can feel really hurt because I didn’t frame it so that they had the space to check in.

[01:08:33] Am I in that kind of place? And you said like with certain people, it may be that you have a rare experience of them really being present with you, but that’s not your predominant experience. It’s like, Hey, I noticed that, um, I’ve really treasured the times when you could be really present and listening, and I’ve, I’ve also noticed that we tend to do that when we go for a walk together.

[01:09:05] And there’s something that, you know, I would love to share with someone who can, who’s in the right place for that. Would it be pleasing to you to do that right now? Do you have the energy so you can, like, if you know somebody, like, I like to be useful, it doesn’t take someone who wants to know me much, um, to figure that out pretty quickly.

[01:09:29] I, I say it like I love being useful. Um, I, I don’t like being demanded, even if it’s useful for someone. I like being useful from a place that’s a yes. So if someone said, Hey Rick, there’s something that if it was a yes for you would be really useful for me. Um, but only if it’s really a yes. How would you feel about helping me take these books to Goodwill?

[01:10:02] Yeah. Uh, not right now, but I can do. When do you need them? Like, you start a dialogue and part of our, our work in real skills is calm and confident. If I’m feeling calm, uh, as I ask and I’m confident that there is a relationship there, that allows me to at least explore, Hey, are you the type of person that likes to help take stuff for donations?

[01:10:30] You know, I noticed you have a truck. Are you the type of person that really likes when it’s convenient to help, you know, get some furniture so it can be, um, you know, reused by somebody who needs it? Um, no, I hate that. Oh, great. Good to know. Thanks for letting me know. I’m not gonna ask that person again.

[01:10:50] But that’s very different than that person being somebody who really caress about me and saying, Hey, I really need to get this sofa outta here. Um, can, can you help me take that? Does that make sense? Like I think that there’s a savvy exploration of are you the type of person that really enjoys talking about football?

[01:11:14] If somebody asked me that, I would say, you know, when I was 11, I used to be a red skin fan. But right now, honestly, anything that’s us versus them is just not good for me. I just gave them a lot of information to navigate my world. Now, whether they picked up on it or not, it does require a certain amount of cultivated emotional intelligence to, to pick up on that signal.

[01:11:41] But I just told them, us versus them stuff is not good for me. But I also can come back to that if they talk about. Oh, I can’t believe that I did that. Yeah. Yeah. I, I can’t go there with you. Um, I can tell you’re, you’re, you’ve got some big feelings about it. I, I can’t be your, your conversation partner for, for talking about that right now.

[01:12:06] You know, um, that us versus them sensitivity I have. Um, so that’s, you know, it’s vulnerable to be asked. It’s vulnerable to ask. There’s a power with a co-creation power, with you’re not demanding somebody else’s time because they love you and that they should be there for you. That to me, I, maybe it’s just 'cause I’m allergic to that, that if somebody treats me that way, including a child, um, my, my initial reaction if, if my two and a half year old pulls that on me.

[01:12:47] Um, is a flinch. And then I, I have to, I regulate myself. She’s two and a half. Um, if, if an adult pulls that on me, I say like, wait a minute. Like, I’m gonna reveal something. But I said, Hey, wait a minute. You know, you don’t have any claim on my time. Um, so if you wanna ask whether it’s a yes for me, that works for me.

[01:13:14] As long as you’re ready for me to say yes or no. And this kind of, of, uh, dynamic, um, like I said, I, I am noticing the more that I do this with people, as awkward as it can be, as weird as it can be to be the first one that speaks this foreign language, this fresh language of relationship, um, the more that I do that there’s, there’s an ease and a depth and a goodness.

[01:13:46] Um, to the, the relationship that, um, is, is very different. Um, even little whiffs of this, um, you know, I, my mother wants me to call her like, historically that would be an obligation son to mother. Um, and I’ve reflected to her, I said, mom, I’m, I’m really a responder. You, you know how, you know, Cathy calls me every day and somehow that works out almost every day.

[01:14:19] Like it’s every, almost, it’s so close to every day that it might as well be every day. Um, and I’ve shared that with her and I said, it feels like we have a bit of a predicament because like, we both want to respond and neither of us have a lot of initiation energy, even though I know we love each other and we enjoy talking.

[01:14:38] And so I’ll do what I can, you know, to, to I’m, and please, you know, you two. Um, she hasn’t called me, but I, I did call her yesterday 'cause I got that initiation rare, um, kind of like the desert flower that blooms once every two years. Oh no. Not quite that, quite, not quite that intent. Yeah. Well I think that Love you share, you sharing this.

[01:15:06] Um, and I think it’s okay to share what’s important to us. Someone’s asking about birthday gifts and like sharing what’s important to you. Like I love receiving birthday gifts. Like it’s really like if I don’t get a birthday gift, because I grew up, my birthday’s right near Christmas, people forgot it all the time.

[01:15:24] I feel unimportant to them. And so I’ve told people, and some of my friends are great about that and some of them are sporadic and I get to decide what I wanna do. But if we can, um, we can say what our expectations or our desires are. Like, I would love for us to exchange birthday gifts. Like I give you a gift, you give me a gift.

[01:15:42] Can we agree on that? Does, how does that feel to your, to your body? Is that something you, you feel aligned with? Um, or can we talk about it if we’ve never, if we’ve never done that, it’s okay to have things we want out of the relationship. But it’s not okay to necessarily demand it. It’s okay to say, I probably won’t go as deep with you if you’re not going to, you know, willing to meet certain things that I need out of the relationship.

[01:16:06] That’s a choice you get to make. That’s not a threat or a controlling thing, but to say, you know, let the person know, Hey, it’s really important for me. I want my birthday acknowledged for my closest friends. Um, or I need my friends to call me back within so many, you know, a couple days or what, whatever it is.

[01:16:24] That you need or feel that makes you feel loved, it’s okay to request that. But if we can word it as a request, if it doesn’t feel like it’s coming out as a request, have a practice conversation with someone, um, in the center or get on one of the group calls and practice and tap so that it can come out.

[01:16:40] Like sometimes it’s hard if we have a lot of old resentments and, and feelings about something, but doing some tapping and some clearance and practice like this is what I’d really like. Is there something around here we can work, work on together? Is there something we can figure out? Um, a couple things that I love to watch for.

[01:16:57] If I start. Saying something bad about, um, someone, I actually, I’ve stolen this from Reed Mako. He is a good friend as well. He said if people start venting to him, he, he’s really good at deflecting. Like he’ll let them vent for a little bit, but he’s like, that’s, I’m really glad we had this practice conversation.

[01:17:15] When can I check in with you about you talking directly to that person? Because if we continue to let that person vent about them and we kind of get an agreement, it’s easy to step into that. Now we’re gossiping and we’re not actually helping anyone but venting for a little bit. And they’re like, oh, this is a great con practice conversation.

[01:17:35] When do you think you’ll check in, talk to. Check in and see if you actually had the conversation directly with them. It can make things much less toxic. And then we don’t have to listen to people vent to us ad nauseum. Like it’s fine for a little bit, but to hear someone constantly being negative. So just notice if you have a lot of, if you’s a lot of blame or resentment, there’s probably something you need to say to that person if they’re safe enough to handle it.

[01:17:59] If they’re not, do some tapping in one of the group calls and clear some of that energy so you’re not carrying it around. 'cause it resentment is very toxic to relationships and blame. Very toxic to relationships. It’s also toxic to us. We don’t wanna carry that around. So if there’s, there’s something you’re not getting met, maybe they’re not gonna meet it, but you can still clear your energy around it, if that makes sense.

[01:18:24] Mm-hmm. Someone. In the chat. Um, and I totally get this, I’m feeling quite conflicted about this topic, including the part of me stomping and tantruming saying, no, this feels like hard work and relationships. I don’t want to have to ask for all these things. Uh, yeah, I, I wanna live in a world where kinship is really easy and natural, and that if I walk out my door, I would run into a kindred spirit immediately.

[01:18:53] Um, I’m grateful to all of you and you don’t live next door. Like, I’m not gonna, I’ve been cultivating kinship with people around the world. Um, I remember like a breakthrough for me was recognizing that there was a part of me that wants unconditional rightness and that part of me was the part of me that wasn’t meant as a child.

[01:19:20] And when I start feeling like stomping and tantruming and sticking out my lower lip, little Ricky is the one that is. Needing to be acknowledged inside of me. Um, it’s not Cathy’s job to, um, be mommy to me. Um, is it hard work? It’s different work. I’ve tried to share that. It’s beautiful work. Um, it doesn’t always work.

[01:19:49] Um, and, um, It’s up to each of us. I, I, I believe that there’s lots of ways to navigate. I’m, a core thing for me is emotional freedom. And I, I, I do not feel emotionally free if I’m obligated to hold space for someone who is in a bad place when I don’t have the energy and it’s going to be damaging to me and other things that are important to me in that moment.

[01:20:18] And that’s coming from someone who, this is not only my work, it’s something that is a gift. I love sharing that, my capacity to hold space and be there and be supportive and useful and, and have competency in that area. But I, I need to be free to do that. Or else I’m just an emotional slave, you know, um, servant.

[01:20:43] So is it harder for someone to say, um, hey, um, If it’s not a yes for you or for now, not now is not a good time, just please tell me. They don’t have to say that very often until I can respond and you can count on me to say no. If it’s not a yes you can. So early in my conversations with people that seem to have, we have enough wavelength.

[01:21:08] I remember I remember asking someone, how easy is it for you to say no to me? And, and she was silent. Well, that was good information. And we talked about it and we played a little game, you know. Would you, would you tattoo Rick on your forehead? No. How good. That’s our first, no. Um, it’s an easy one. Um, but what was interesting is over the next two years we, we cultivated a relationship, which in started off with her saying no to me a lot.

[01:21:40] And then, um, it was great because I, it became trustworthy. And when she would ask me something, I would say, and if it wasn’t a yes, you could, you, you can count on me. If I look back on it and say, gosh, I wish I wouldn’t have done that, that’s not your fault. I’m gonna check in and with myself and get clear about what’s a yes for me.

[01:22:04] And we’re not always gonna be perfect on that either. Sometimes we think we’re clear and we’re not. Yeah, you go on the adventure like, oh, I’m never gonna do that one again. Um, but that’s where the safety for our friend is. I am going to check in with myself. I’m gonna do the best guidance that I can. If I say yes, I, I look for ways that I, I check in with people and say, look, I’m unsure, or I need you to know that I may change my mind or be unavailable.

[01:22:34] Um, so this kind of dance that we’re doing is, is weird. Um, and think about if you’re gonna do this, think about the world where people knew. They held a space that when they asked you for a favor that they would be ready for a yes or a no and would not, it would not diminish the relationship. If you said no, it would actually strengthen the relationship.

[01:23:03] When you say no, I believe that that good friends, I, someone can’t really drop into good friend with me until I’ve heard them say no. And that I’ve, I’ve seen how they’ve reacted when I’ve said no to something that matters to them when it really, I, I don’t arbitrarily do that, but there’s a safe place for me when I know that we can say no to each other.

[01:23:25] It expands the yes range. So what seems hard can, can reach a place of, Hey, is now a good time? Um, are you sure it’s a yes? Absolutely. And you’ve got a, a level of, of savvy about the person and yourself. To be able to navigate that, that’s worth getting to. I’m, maybe, I’m still a fifth grader on it, but dang, I’m excited.

[01:23:55] I really am. And, um, so let’s continue this. If that’s appealing to you, thriving, where you’ll see the replay. Um, I is a place where we can continue the thriving. Now circle, thriving If you’re not already a member, many of you already are so grateful to have you here. Yeah, Cathy, thank you.

[01:24:18] Exceptional friend. Yes, and please understand when we first heard these things, it sounded strange too. They’re not conventional and they can, the relationships you can develop following these steps are so deep and worthwhile. They’re the things you dream of. So it’s worth, it’s worth the effort to learn them and work through the courage it takes.

[01:24:38] So thank you all for being here and investing in yourself and in friendships this way. You’re amazing. Bye now.

[01:24:46] ​

Great to have you on this journey with us!

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