Hey, everyone, I am so happy to have my childhood friend and fellow Washingtonian Joel McHale back on the show, you know, Joel from the Soup Community Card Sharks. And as the host of the Tiger King and I, I've known Joel since I was six years old. It really goes by in a blink. After talking with Joel, I'm joined again by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, who is a psychologist, author, science writer and host of the psychology podcast, which is the number one psychology podcast in the world.
Scott has taught cognitive psychology at Columbia University, NYU and the University of Pennsylvania. His writing and research focuses on intelligence, creativity and human potential.
If you have a question for Scott or one of our other experts, please reach out and tell us your story. Go to unqualified dotcom. We look forward to hearing from you. And now here he is, Joel McHale.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to All Qualified with their host on unifiers. Look at this. Oh, Lord, oh, you have an odiferous podcast mug. Yeah, I was going to write unqualified, but then you could sue me, huh?
I was actually hoping that you could deliver an impromptu monologue. Yeah. Take us back to March.
We'll take you back to March when the whole thing broke out and everyone was like, is this really happening? Is this all these things going? Is everything shutting down? Is no one going to movies? No one's going to a restaurant. And my kid's birthday was supposed to be that week. Party was canceled. Then he stopped going to school and then he graduated from that sixth grade. So he never went back to class. And Onna is, you know, Zoome school is the best.
It's how kids should learn. Now, I'm not saying like we need to get back there in them schools and get those kids interacting and breathing on each other. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying I'm dyslexic and ADHD. So if someone said to me as a kid, just sit in front of a computer for six hours, you might as well each day someone hands you a phone and go, hey, you're on hold with customer service for the next six hours.
But they might chime in at some point. So but can you just stay on this thing the whole time? That's that's how I kind of see it. I'm not upset about that anyway. I know there's so many other issues we can talk about. So that's March. Everything's weird. Mark seems like ten years ago.
So then let's skip past April. April was a super confusing as Americans, it felt like. Do we have a sense of ingenuity? Can we survive? I was saving bacon grease so I could cure my cast iron pans or if I needed it in a pinch. When you need bacon grease, you in full.
Laura Ingalls Wilder. Oh, yeah, yeah. I was saving everything.
Did you keep your groceries outside for reasons. Oh yeah. I stopped doing that because I was just like, well, I just didn't seem like I'm going to get this from a piece of toast. Yes, there are a thousand other ways to get it. Believe me, I'm not being that guy. I think every time there's a crowd, it proves that people are catching it. You know that I'm not a big compliment. Yeah. Especially to my own friends.
I didn't know that, actually, but I could have suspected it given our history.
Yes, but I feel like you're a witch or some sort of vampire because you're not aging. No.
Oh, my God, no. I'm engaged to a DP. Oh, that is so fucking smart. Think that is the smartest thing I've ever heard. It's like, well, have you had such a nice house? Oh, I married a interior designer. Follow up is that you don't look like you're trying, you know, like there are people that try hard and it is also reflected in their hairstyle and in their clothing where you're like, oh, you still think you're going to go to one of those pool parties after partying in Las Vegas?
You know that Caesars Palace, where you start the partying at 10:00 a.m. and you're all in bathing. We know people who are older that are still, like, grasping for that thing. I don't know, like, hey, everything you do is great. You look great and everything's great. I'm saying it disturbs me.
So how are you at accepting compliments? I'm not good at accepting compliments because I feel like there's a ulterior motive. Even my own wife is like, hey, yeah, you look good today. I'm like, what's going on? I'm going to get to the bottom of this. And then it becomes a Scooby Doo mystery. But I'll take that because as you know, we live in Hollywood, so we can't stop exercising and moisturising. So, you know, stay out of the sun.
You know, you always ask a question, especially to a kindred spirit, which I believe you are go Seahawks.
So there's a lot to unpack as the phrase goes. At the beginning of the pandemic, I had a sense of anxiety that would not go away. And you know that when you get, like this level of anxiety, it begins to zap your energy. And so what I do in those situations where it's like I want to work out and I don't feel like moving, and then I force myself to do it and it feels very unsatisfying and like I'm doing it through mud.
And so I had anxiety and I was very worried for my family. But then I always go, but there's essential workers out there and there are people in hospitals and nurses and doctors and the people that keep those places going that are like, you got a little anxiety. OK, well, I'm just going to go innovate this guy. I'll be right back, you know, so that's how I go, like, calm down.
Oh, completely. I'm just sitting at home while other people are out there solving shit, you know, do I even have a right to be anxious?
Yeah, I think also the federal response has been none, which is just good luck. I don't care what party you're from. But the response was basically to get on a group call with all the governors and. Go well, come up with your own plan, and when I hear people say, well, we're a really big country and I was like, so is South Korea. They're not as big as us, but they are in a much more concentrated there's 51 million people.
And like the size of Delaware, they have contact raised and gotten the virus down to an incredibly manageable level. So I think the anxiety continues because the jailbreak, dumpster fire of zillions of cases every day is very disconcerting and worrisome, to say the least, to the point where we don't even know how worried we are. Thank you. I'm Joel McHale.
And Joel, back in early April, we bought a used camper van, but traveling back and forth, we encountered people like gas stations.
A guy told us to take our fucking masks off.
Nice, great America. This country is divided like it's never been before in our lifetimes. Oh, yeah. And again, I don't want to get all political, but when the leader of the free world of your country dismisses them, people follow that example. So here we are in the face of science. I used to interview this guy from Fred Huch. He is the leading researcher for covid there. And he's like, I remember him telling me way back in June.
He said, if we just put on masks for like two weeks, if everybody did that, I mean, it would be very manageable. But that's not the case and won't be the case. And that's why God bless those Dodgers for winning the World Series. But when Justin Turner has a positive test mid game and then comes out and celebrates without a mask and touches people like Clayton Kershaw who have children, it's that sort of lack of vigilance for stuff like I a good friend in Melbourne who was going nuts because they were locked down for one hundred and ten days and he was really angry at the government.
And then they're down to one case. One case.
So now does he feel grateful for a solid, trustworthy government leadership?
I think he thought there were very austere. I think he was more angry about how the psychological devastation and the the economic devastation. I think for a while he was like, it's too much. And now I think he changed his mind because he went, oh, now we have a way to proceed, which is we can contact Trace very quickly. You can't contact tracing a hundred thousand cases a day.
It's just so overwhelming. Right. And we are four percent of the population of the planet and we have twenty five percent of the cases, which is totally upside down. And it's like a runaway American pride, which I love my country so much. I love it. I love living here. I think it's great. But when people say it's my right to blank and ignore very obvious science, I mean, from Dr. Fauci, who at a rally people are saying, fire, you, fire.
Foushee is like there has to be a practical side to American pride and come together as a family and go, let's take care of each other by wearing a fucking mask. So anyway, that was another long diatribe of mine.
No, no, I agree. OK, let's talk. Tiger came. Oh, so back in early April, you did a Tiger King special, The Tiger King and I. How did that come about? Well, tense around us.
It was a very nice man. He called and asked if I would do it. I'm like, yeah, well, if I can do that, I've nothing else to do with it. He just plopped it in my lap. I was like, absolutely equal.
It was a fucking rad bonding moment for the entire country, the whole journey of the Tiger King. We needed the intensity. We needed the absurdity. We needed that all of it at that time. But who would you play in a Tiger King movie?
My guess is I would be Jeff, what's his name with a do rag and the nanny, the young pregnant wife. I mean, that's who I would assume I would be cast aside. I don't think so. Who?
Well, who do you think? I mean, for age wise, I fit the demo.
I don't I would like to be maybe Carol Baskin's husband, you know, the alive one. I mean, that guy's really something. He's wonderful.
Yeah. I was going to cast myself as Carol Baskin's niece, Tanya. Oh, I don't know. She has a niece named Tanya, but I'm going to be Tanya Baskin's. And Jewel, you're working hard on the script, right?
A very hard on the script right now.
Great. I'm stuck on page seventy eight. Well, that's where Tanya comes in once again. She's amazing.
Now, Tanya was pretty much raised by Carroll. Really? Yeah. Where was Tanya during the time when a certain prominent person who had purchased the entire reserve disappeared? Oh yeah.
Well that's easy. Perhaps unplanned trips to Costa Rica. Yeah, he loves the tropics, he loves monkeys, coconuts, and so he wanted to go do that, OK? But anyway, he is awesome and he's doing great. And more importantly, Cal's doing great, Tony.
I'm going to need to interview you more because I'm writing the screenplay, so I got to ask you a few questions.
Yeah, sure. And how old are you, Tanya? May I ask? Yeah. No, I'm twenty six. OK, and so, Tanya, you're very close to Carol. Yeah.
Aunt Carol's like my mom basically. Did you go to the wedding to her most recent husband? Yeah, I was her Britney. Did you put the collar around your future uncle's neck and then gave Carroll the leash? Well, it wasn't exactly a leash, but, yeah, I put, like, the wedding collar around and I think it's so romantic, don't you?
Oh, I thought it was some they were some of the most remarkable photographs. They're literally attached.
They're literally attached. Yes. I mean, one is on a leash and doesn't have a choice. Right. Well, I guess my question is, were you over there when your first uncle. Disappeared. Yeah, he always loved to fly, right? But then five years, because in Florida, someone is declared dead. If they haven't heard from them in five years, then you can claim that person's possessions.
And so five years and one day, I have to tell you, I feel like your questions are getting a little intense. My Aunt Carol is the most loving, generous, kind, intelligent person I know. Would she ever kill anybody? Only in self-defense. Right.
The good point, or if maybe she accidentally left the door of a cage to a, you know, a very powerful big cat open, don't you think it's weird how no one I mean, with the success of this show, no one has heard from him at all in Costa Rica.
You'd think he'd be spotted, right?
I'm sure there's a very reasonable explanation.
It seems just weird because it's like even if onna if I was like, you know what, I Joel McHale, I'm going off the grid, I'm moving to Argentina. And unless I barricaded myself in a cave where if somehow I had sustainable food and no one could find me, I could pull that off. Maybe. But don't you think a person that needs to buy food have a place he's going to need money since he he doesn't have any. Someone would just kind of like, oh, hey, you're the guy from the thing.
All right. So if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be for a year, for a year?
Get this. I'm going to blow your mind right now. All right? I would want to live on a boat. All right. I'm sure I would die at sea and my family would be like, what the hell are we doing out here? But I would hopefully I somehow had Tiger Woods, this boat or something, or Lebanon's boat, I don't know. And then I would be like, all right, we're going to cross the Atlantic and we're going to stop in Algeria.
You know, I would like to do that. So a pretty big boat large enough that it's not the movie. Dead calm with Nicole Kidman. Sure. Sam Neill. Yeah.
So, yeah, I would like to be at sea for a year. I think that would be pretty great.
Why are you doing this? This is a rad plan. Well, it's a really good question because we know a couple of people. They just went to Big Bear indefinitely and they're just like, we're just going to be here. They're going to do Zoom's go from there. I'm like, maybe I should be doing that.
Did you grow up with a boat? Yeah. You on Mercer Island? Yeah, we had we didn't have waterfront, but we always had something moored somewhere. And then my friends all had boats and we did a lot of irresponsible things on those. Yeah. Yeah. We used to take my friend David Johnson's boat and it went, it went seventy five miles an hour. We called it high speed bailouts and we jump off the boat.
David Johnson, David Johnson who saved my life. How well I was skiing of a crystal mountain. Yeah. And we were skiing together. He was a good skier and there was a poof of snow. He looked over. I had somehow collided with another skier. I don't have any memory of this at all, he said. I stood up and he stood up and I said, Are you OK? And the guy said, Yeah. And he goes, Are you OK?
And I said, Yeah. And then I ski up to David. I'm like, Let's keep going. And then he said, I started talking very strangely on the chairlift, like gibberish, like we were having the ability.
He was terrified because I had been hit in the head and not knocked out, but I had fractured my skull. So. Holy shit, Jill. Yeah. So I have no memory of the day other than I have no memory of waking up, getting ready, being on the bus to go skiing. I don't have any recollection of that at all. But one of my recollections is that it was a very cloudy day and it was bright and sunny.
I was told later there were like it was one of the nicest days of skiing. And I was just like I feel like it was very cloudy and I was in a tunnel. And so he took me to the infirmary. But if I had been alone, this is where you hear about like a soldier, like getting shell shock, like blown up or like hitting and just wandering away from the battlefield or wandering straight into the battlefield. I would have just skied off into the hinterland.
The day is gone. So like going to someone's car to be taken home would be just out of the question. I would have just like I'm going to sleep here under these beautiful trees and then just never woken up from exposure. So they got me in there and then they figured out that I've been hit in the head. I drove home and I'd lost I didn't drive home, but I lost all my short term memory for like six hours. So I kept going, like, who put this glass in my hand?
What's going on like that was me for hours. So David Johnson led me down the hill so I would have a different guest today if it weren't for David Johnson.
Yeah, very nice guy. I saw him once, some at the reunion, and I said thank you again for not leaving me. That's amazing.
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Here's what I'll say about community. As Dan Harmon said, our time slot was always Vietnam. And we always felt like this underdog all the time because we were a lot of the time, we were always in the eight o'clock slot going up against the Big Bang Theory and Thursday Night Football, but we loved each other. And then we started losing cast mates like Chevy and Evette and Donald. They left and we lost Dan. We lost that. We lost the show creator.
So then Dan came back. So we were rejuvenated. Then we got canceled in the fifth season and then we got picked up by Yahoo! Which then we made, as Dan has said, he's like, I think that's one of the best seasons of television. He was like, it's my favorite season. He has said that. But then Yahoo! After that stopped, Yahoo! Streaming service stopped. And then they blamed us and Paul Feig show for bringing down the streaming service.
And then Yahoo! Was sold to T-Mobile. So it was always a roller coaster. And that last episode, as my character leaves, I'm just looking at the study table. I'll start crying again, but. I was like, guys, you got to get this quick, because I'm just going to weep, I'm just going to not be able to handle this and I'm crying right now. But because I cared so deeply and it was such a shit show, not shit show, but it was so like fighting for the show all the time because I knew we knew we were making something really good and different and we loved it.
So that said, I think Dan would agree, like that was the run of the show and that's that. And I even though the hours were bananas, I missed it. And you did feel like. Oh, what am I going to do now? I think every actor, unless they are I don't know who that person is, I'm always going, what am I going to do next? What's going to happen? And my wife always points out, because, you know, when you constantly talk about you're worried that you're never going to work again, all you do is work.
And I'm like, oh, right.
So you guys did something very unique, which is, you know, how hard it is to get a show on the air just to get the pilot, then to get the show on the air, then to get out of your first season that again, your second season. Then all of a sudden it's working and you go on these runs and all of a sudden you make a hundred episodes, then you get to one hundred and fifty episodes and you look at Ted Danson, we're like, well, cheers.
Going to just kept going forever. You would have made this much money. And he was just like, Yeah, I don't want to do that. I'm going to do a zillion other things because variety in life is really important.
Of course, I miss Mom and everyone there. The cast, the writing.
Chuck is so brilliant walking away from that show with what you've accomplished to go do another thing or just take a fucking break and raise your child great. Just like anything you get used to it. You know, when Donald left community, we were all upset. And we are like people. A lot of people are like, what is he doing? He's on a show that's working. He's getting paid. And he he knew like he just was like it wasn't worth it to him.
And, you know, like he had the vision of Atlanta and he had his the music career was going. And I'm like, I mean, the guy is obviously now he's he's a dog lover, but he had the vision. And if that little tickle happens in your heart. Thanks, Joel.
I you know, I've had I've had a lot of complicated feelings about it. I was also really worried about covid, you know, and of course, I still am. Oh, yeah, that's fun. OK, changing the subject. Tell me your juiciest audition story.
Well, I will tell you, Danny Pudi has the greatest audition story of all time. Do you feel called Danny? I'm going to tell the story because it's so he was auditioning for like a play in New York and he was on community at that point. And it was like this pretty high end play was a it was going to be a good thing. And the woman who was directing it was like, what? We want to put you on camera.
That wasn't putting yourself on tape. You wanted to do basically a resume call. Now, this is two thousand and eleven. And this is pre Zoome being a thing, and most of us have Blackberries at that point. So she's like, well, do you have a like an Apple laptop, because that's what I have. And you can do this FaceTime thing on the laptop and he's like, No, I don't. And then she's like, well, can you get one?
And he's like, no. So he went to the grove at the Apple store. And opens up a computer and then guys like, can I help you? He's like, I'm going to do this audition right there in the Apple store. Amazing. At the Grove. At the Grove. He's already on TV at this point, so he's recognizable. So there's Danny Pudi in the Grove and he's like and it wasn't just kind of like a like a like a straight dial out there, like stuff to do in it.
And he fucking got the role he got. It is like so good. I'll give away.
Joel, do you have any memorable auditions. Oh yeah. I had. Well it's a sign of like model of auditioning which is like half three characters ready shows those three characters in a lot of other shows adapted that there's a zillion sketch comedy shows that failed. This one I think was for Comedy Central. And they're like, come up with three characters. And you went for whatever reason, the casting director was in an office building and usually casting directors are in these weird bodegas.
But it's really like taking the elevator to 30 anyway. There's a long bench where all the actors were waiting and there was the casting director's office, which was a glass wall. Oh. So you open the glass door to walk into their office and you sit down behind. You are all the actors, the glass wall separating them. And she's like, OK, and all these actors are just watching you while you're doing like a silent movie with your back to them.
That is so weird, though. I'm trying to imagine this.
Well, I'll tell you, when I auditioned for Community because I was on the soup at that point, it was the Russo brothers and Dan and I know they really liked what I did in the tests. And at that point they were like, OK, you don't have to do the studio test because the studios already approved you. So you go to this network test again. For those of you listening, there's all these very odd hoops that you have to jump through.
And I don't even know those that exist anymore with like Netflix and stuff like how that's changed. But you go into it literally someone's office, literally, and I think she's still at NBC, 20 other executives pack into this room. What you don't realize you're like this is the biggest moment of my life. And for other people, they're like, I got two more network tests to show up to buy lunch. I got to watch this bozo jump around.
If we knew that, though, wouldn't that have been of comfort?
Yes, but I don't know how much I could have convinced myself. I know. Yeah, but I think the other thing we all don't factor in as actors. We put the pressure on ourselves to go like I need to get this. And if I screw this up and everything is my fault, when you don't realize, like the casting director wants someone, this executive want someone else, you might just be a prop. You might just be brought in.
There is the setup, man. And there's so many other cooks in the kitchen that you could give the greatest audition of your life. And you're like, thank you. We already made a decision three days ago. So that happens all the time.
No, we're like the tile that a contractor brings, like, yeah, this one's good, strong, but OK.
Yeah, but you're right. The other one, this one with the blue is back. Oh. The number of times that they're like they really wanted you but you don't have foreign value so they're going to think they're going with the guy that kind of looks you. But he's been in more movies so sorry about that. No. So I auditioned for Community and it was the Russos and Dan was in there. All these executives were in there. We do the scene like a couple of scenes and I was like, oh, that went pretty well.
Like, it's gone. Well, they laugh to get good laughs. And I walked out and then the Russos come out. They're like, all right, so you didn't get it? And I was like, I didn't get that because they were like, we you know, they told me they were like, you know, we're rooting for you. And I was like, so they're like. So some of the executives are not sure. And I'm like, OK, so what do we do?
And he was like, All right, so we're going to bring you back in. We're going to get rid of all the executives or we're just going to film it and then we're going to send that tape around to the executives. So I did that. So then a day goes by and then they're like, OK, they watched it and they're going to go with you. I'm like, so they watched it.
And they're going to go with, you know, like, you got the role because you did a fucking amazing. Like a shrug. Like, I don't think I could have digested that information very well.
I think the Russos, like, fuck those guys, don't worry about it. You already knew that you had somebody like that had your back. Yeah. And I was so naive at that point that I was just kind of like, oh, well, this is going to go for six years. And then it did. I mean, sure, it was a shit show to get us to the sixth year in the best way. But I was very naive.
I was just like, oh, this is going to work. This is the thing that's great. And then I realized after now so many years and oh, there is zero guarantees of anything so true.
OK, can I ask you, what was your first love like? You mean Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia, sir. All right.
Yeah, I saw Star Wars in the theater in nineteen seventy seven. My dad took me to the United Artists theater. That does not exist. It was right by the Pink Elephant Carwash anyway, in Seattle.
Yes, I remember. Yeah. And I've never been more in love than I was with Carrie Fisher and I didn't realize it. And then I very briefly met her in like two thousand and two at a film premiere of the film that my friend was in proof of life. My friend Pamela Reed, who is one of the greatest actors from Tacoma, Washington, Carrie Fisher was at this, Marty. And I was just like, oh, I didn't say it, but I was just like, you love my life.
I mean, it's like I've always been in love with you. I'm always going to be in love with you. And like her, like, yeah, I was just like when I still watch stars, I'm just like, man, that was my first love.
I wish you had told her that she was your only hope and she'd be like, I never had that before.
Dickless don't look to me for pickup lines. So yes, definitely. But we will wait. You didn't have like a third grade crush. Oh yeah. My first girlfriend I guess is in. Fifth grade, and that was Tori Bowes at Tori, I'm remember Tori Mercer. Oh, really? Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what I was saying. Hey, Monica. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. Pretty good at tetherball.
Yeah. She was like a hopscotch queen tetherball handball against that. Just like mine was.
Ranger Vaughn. What's Ryan doing. What is the in one was the fastest runner and I would buy him ice cream every day for twenty five cents. It was ice milk covered in, you know, sort of a plasticised chocolate dip that they served at the cafeteria. At their school at Edmands.
Yeah, yeah. Skyview Elementary in Edmonds, Washington. And Ryan, Javon could run like nobody else. I've never seen somebody run like Rajeevan. And any field day he was the king. So he was dating Michelle Liden in third grade and sliding back, but with enough ice cream.
He ended up dating me at the same time. I was thrilled.
I did not mind. Very, very progressive.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So Ryan had Michelle, who was his number one. I was number two. I provided the ice cream and the, you know, cheerleading support for fast running and then it fizzled, fizzled out fourth grade.
Who don't you know. Who do you think Joe. Trayvon did it. Yeah, he was tired of the ice ice cream, did he run away from you or he's like, this is where our relationship is right now.
And then he took off like, no, no, no. He was strong. He was strong. He told me to my face. Did he stay with Michelle? Yeah, he did. He stayed with Michelle. And did she buy him ice cream? No, no, no, no. Maybe he had a lactose thing, he needed the sugar for his energy, though, his energy levels, he did not ever take that into account. Every resource I was like.
Ryan, your glucose is dippin. Did you go to high school with him?
No. He wouldn't have been as romanticized in my head if I went to high school with him.
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At Kiriko Dotcom. That's 50 percent off your first month at Kaixi Y Seo Dotcom promo code onna. So what happened with Tori Bose? I did not go to high school with her because I went to a Catholic grade school and a lot of the kids with me. Did you go to Holy No. Where did you go? That's an all girls school in Tacoma. I would have loved to know. I so a lot of people went to Seattle Prep and Odey and different Catholic schools and I went to Mercer Island High School where many of us went to.
But then I really lost touch with most of those kids, except for the ones that I went to high school with, of course. But I saw Tori at my book signing. Oh, dear.
Saralyn came to the book signing. Oh, man.
And she looked great. So I was very like, oh, wow. Look at, look at, look at us. And we had like she like she was in line. I'm like, get out of line. We had like a ten minute chat and she's friends with my brother, but I had not seen her since maybe sophomore year in high school at some sort of passing thing.
How would you describe Mercer Island? What is your impression? Because as an outsider, it's like a little it's like the Beverly Hills of Brentwood. Of Seattle.
Yeah. It's very affluent now. Like crazy. And my parents paid one hundred grand for their house in nineteen eighty.
Oh my God. They must do they tell you that all the time. All the time and. No, but so it really became affluent, like super affluent in the 80s. And so I don't, I'm not trying to go like yeah but when we moved it, it was like, you know, rough. It wasn't, it was great. My parents when we moved to Seattle, they had they were like, where should we move? Like, they were very much considering different parts of Seattle.
So then we knew you could definitely, as I played all sorts of sports in high school and, you know, we were considered like the rich school and that was usually not very helpful on the field. What did you play?
Did you play lacrosse? Are you going to say lacrosse? Lacrosse did not exist then?
I mean, the sport existed. We didn't have any lacrosse team. I played one year football, baseball, basketball all four years.
Do you miss any of that or do you miss sports? Oh, yeah, I love I mean, I watch them all the time, but I like I used to be in basketball leagues here in L.A., but I can't do it anymore because too many guys my age are breaking their knees in half. They think they can still play the way they played when they were twenty. They're super competitive. And I'm just like, I'm going to get my nose broken out here and it's not worth it.
So I play a lot of football with my kids and I play a lot of basketball. I'll shoot baskets. But I did a one on one with this friend of mine. I'm like, here we go. Do not step on my foot or fall onto my foot because I'm going to cannot take three months off with a busted ankle.
Is there a sport that you could make an argument for the best television viewing or the best in person viewing for. And do you have a favorite Olympic event?
Wow. All right. Well, I will say watching hockey live is way better than watch it on TV, I think, because that puck is moving around so fast. Well, and everyone's crazy and it's cold. Yeah.
I got to go to the gold medal game at the Vancouver Olympics for men's hockey, and it was possibly the most exciting sporting event I've ever been to in my life. It was one section of Americans you're in Vancouver and a sea of red, and it's all the best NHL players from Canada on one team and then all the American players on the right side couldn't believe they even got to that game. And they're dominating. And with a minute left, we tied the game.
And I was just like I was just like always was like, oh, my gosh, we might win the gold medal against the death star of power in the NHL. And we didn't. But we probably would have been killed if we had won the state in the stands because I was. So there's that. And then I really wasn't into ice skating. And we went to the women's gold medal.
Ice skating match. Oh, my God. That must have been thrilling. We had gone to a couple of different events, but the comparison between the top ten ice skaters compared to the bottom 50 ice skaters. It's the difference between a junior high school person starting out playing basketball and Michael Jordan because any country can send anyone. Right. So if you're like, well, I skate, that's fine. Anyway, that said, the top two where the Japanese woman and a Korean woman and the Korean one was favored and they both of them, they showed interviews with a Korean woman goes, I understand the pressure that's on me right now.
My country is counting on me. My country needs a gold medal against Japan. I was just like, this girl is 14. And then the Japanese girl said the exact same things and was like, I need to bring home gold. I understand. And she goes, it's been worth the sacrifice. And you could just tell I was just like, how the fuck how are they going to stay on their skates and not just fall apart from nerves?
And the Japanese woman comes out and just nails it. Wow. To the point where I have downloaded the music she skated to like that. It's a Rachmaninoff piece that is just and she was wearing this black outfit. The lighting was dark and the music is this heavy Russian thing. I was like. Good luck, Korea, because you're never going to top that, that was just I mean, people were jumping up and I have never been this way about ice skating ever.
And I am just like, yes, this is the greatest thing I've ever seen. And the Korean woman, when she walks out on the ice and it's all quiet, nothing is started and you just hear the skates like, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. And you could keep the crowd was silent. And she does that thing with getting to that position in the like. They're ready to go. And that music came on and she fucking nailed it, blew it away and won and she won.
And I would be like, I don't know how this happened. She just won the gold medal. And I was like, there's no way you could come close to what the Japanese woman did. And, you know, like every day it was these clich, all these cliches. And I could not believe I don't know what you would come. I've never seen anything like it.
Joel, you're such a great storyteller. I was so fucking right there. I'll I'll send you I'll send you the music. It was oh, this is another tiny little tell it, tell it. Because when I was on NBC, they did all the tennis and I was like, I want free tickets to tennis. And so we went to the French Open in Roland Garros, which is right in Paris. And I was just like, I can't believe we're here.
And it was when the doll was he and Federer were the greatest players on the planet and Nadal was the king of Clay and Soderling, who's another player who at the time was also just like we don't think he can beat them. These are professional athletes. Seeing professional tennis up close is so different than television because the speed with which these guys are moving and how hard they're hitting it, every time like Soderling would hit this thing, I'll be like, there's no way.
And Nadal would send it back as a winner. And I remember Soderling literally. He could not understand how someone was returning these winners. He's just like hitting the ball. Better that you could tell. And he would just be like, look at his racquet, be like, what the fuck is happening? And the doll just blew him away. And it wasn't that he played poorly. He just is at this other level of it, just like he just we just have a new level of tennis that you're not going to be able to play anyway.
That was not as dramatic as the other two. But I remember just seeing the look on his face and I'll just be like, oh, no.
But the ability to tap into the idea of being able to quickly process and have your body react, it's mind blowing to me.
That's why I always get pissed at people that, well, he's just a big, dumb football player. And I'm like, oh, no, college football is hard enough. And so it is high school. But when you get to that NFL level and you see Russell Wilson making five hundred decisions at once, it all happens at once. And it's so beautiful and it's just it just kills me.
Do you bristle at the idea of comedy, the idea the comedy is easy?
Somehow I yes, I not only bristle, I become angry before I was on, like I got on to almost live in Seattle, which was a local sketch comedy show.
We joke you can't bring up almost life just casually like that. Well, so for those of you don't know this, but on a worked for Bill Stanton, who used to make industrial videos, I think. Did I get you the video.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Last time. Thanks for calling Red Robin here at Red Robin. We always give good phone.
Oh, that is so creepy. Like some dude was like I got a good one. It's inherently so funny because you're like, all right, this is how we would like people to answer the phone. Hi, welcome Red Robin. But then auto play multiple characters and you're like, this is how you should not answer the phone. And you're like Hello.
I'm just like so it's so wonderfully over the top. Like who's going to answer the phone like that. But it was so funny to see, like how not to do it.
But wait, I want to hear more of your almost five stories before I got an almost live. Almost none of my friends, except for my friends who are actors, would take me seriously, they would be like, you're going to do what? OK, why don't you go to your cute little your cute little skits once you go do your little thing where you jump around on stage and you make your little make them up.
I think that's a Northwest thing. Discouragement. People are awesome up there. I love that part of the country so fucking much. But there's a keep in check mentality, like, let's not get too excited about anything, OK?
Let's just calm down. So you're going to move to L.A.. We'll see in a few weeks. And then, you know, when I got on TV, oh, my gosh, everyone was just so impressed. Looks like I'm doing the same things. So that said, like my friend, he was getting his teeth cleaned and the dentist asked him what he did. He's like, oh, I'm an actor. And he's like, well, isn't that just something you do?
And I was just like, fuck you me. Like, that's like going, well, I don't know. You just pick up, I don't know, one of those water picks and and you just start cleaning people's teeth because you just knew how to do it. You had a natural affinity to do that because you went into this career.
I remember a guy saying to me on a plane, you know, ask me what I did. And I said, I'm an actor. And he said, OK, so what do you really do? Are you.
It was more of like a reflection upon him, because at the time I felt pretty secure in my career.
But back to the idea of comedy, I don't know, is it a silly topic of conversation and does it reflect more on our inherent bitterness when we gripe about the appreciation of difficulty with comedy? Because you have to be inventive, you have to be self-deprecating, you have to be willing to be viewed as a fucking Ding-Dong by your audience and amongst other mental challenges with comedy. And I don't believe there is that much of a separation between comedy and drama.
And that was very confusing.
When I first moved here, there was such a division between the two mentalities, it didn't make any sense.
I have agreed with everything you've said so far. I liked how the Golden Globes, even though it seems to only be decided upon by like four or five people, but how they were like, who's the best comedy, the best drama? And so that's why with the Oscars, like, there's very few comedies. And then what happens is like, well, you know, the last comedy, it was really, you know, Annie Hall or whatever it was, which makes comedy a second class citizen, unless, you know, like Robin Williams, Steve Martin and, you know, like Richard Pryor, they're exceptions.
You know, like, no, they're brilliant comedians who worked hard at their craft and did great. But that's why there are so many brilliant comedies out there that never got their due as they should.
Does it take time to appreciate legacy with comedy? Like, I don't know what you know, Richard Pryor, George Carlin's reputation was during like their heyday. Now they're icons, right? Were they then? I just don't know.
I know exactly what you're saying, because there were and this is going to sound pretty insulting because like you look at Steve Moore, not to Steve Martin, Steve Martin was like he was a superstar, you know, like he could fill the Rose Bowl with shows. Right. And obviously, his legacy has gone on to be like he continues to be brilliant and continues to be thoughtful and funny and writes plays. And the guy is on a tour. Right.
And so but then there are comics that were very popular and no one really talks about them, even though they were so successful. Like you think about like someone like Gallagher, who was a gigantic comic in the 80s who smashed watermelons and did that. You don't really talk about that guy could sell out stadiums in every city in America. And so you don't hear about that as much as as you would. That was I'm sorry, Gallagher. I don't mean to be a dick.
Going back to what you originally said was. Yes, I don't think comedy gets enough. Do I think it's got a lot better? I think so. In conclusion, the Oscars should recognize best comedy and every award show should recognize best comedy. Look, I mean, you have to go back to the comedy tragedy masks. I mean, that's what ancient playwrights were talking about. So, you know, like it was just as important. Thank you.
I'm Joel McHale.
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OK, I have a few more important questions, what's a trait you dislike in others? He's being a dick.
That's good. What's a trait you dislike in yourself? Being a dick? I put stuff off way too long, I wish I would just like, hey, read this thing and I wish I would. Yeah, I don't. I don't either. I can't. Yeah. OK, what's your favorite rainy day movie? Well, we live in L.A., so there's not a lot of rainy days, but I don't know, I might go to like if it comes on back to the future, if that's on, I'm going to watch the whole thing and I know exactly what's going to happen.
It's a good comfort movie.
How about you? What it was like, oh, Requiem for a Dream.
Oh, all right, well, if you like any of the saw movies I love about a boy I love, like some of your friends is like I love, you know, I like a British romantic comedy and people are all nervous about love.
I was going to say, if The Matrix comes on, I won't stop watching it. I'll just keep it on in the background just so it's comforting.
A little laundry movie. On what occasion do you lie to movie premieres?
It was great. I'm talking in a very high voice. I love it.
I do like it when I do something in people like, oh, that was funny. Are you saying he going to be awful? Oh yeah.
I know that better than I thought it would be. A compliment is rough.
OK, what haven't you taken the time to learn about Bootsy's.
Where do you start. I think every person, as I probably should have well, like, learned how to play an instrument, which I don't. Or learned a foreign language, which I don't. So those are just bothersome. Well, you know, in all seriousness, like, you know, with the protest last year, you know, that was the first time, like I was started reading books like, you know, White Fragility and and Malcolm X's biography and stuff like that, which I, you know, cause systemic racism is alive and well.
And if you're not doing anything, you're part of the problem. So there you go.
Yeah, that's a lot of self reflection there. Yeah.
What or who has influenced your career the most, I guess. But there's so many that have helped me that I've been inspired by, I guess. But I would say early on when I started watching Monty Python, the absurdity kind of unlocked a hey, it's OK to be super weird and. Don't just do anything standard, and John Cleese looks like my dad, and so I was like, hey, there's a guy that looks like my dad and that guy's a nut and my dad's really funny.
But I think seeing like the Holy Grail and the episodes, I think the absurdity really allowed me to go, oh, you don't have to just do stuff a certain way. You can just, like, be crazy.
It's great completely to this day. I'm very enamored by a lot of British programming and British, just like the idea of it. I mean, we and everyone's like British British television is better. I'm like, no, no, no. We just didn't get the crap over in America. They weeded it out. They just gave us the good stuff.
I remember I was shooting a movie show called Fuck Off. I'm a Ginger. Wow.
Yeah, I see you. We can just go like see British programming just as crappy. We used to watch the show called Drunk Brits Abroad. That sounds really good. Yeah. Just following these assholes like I, I yeah. What's your name. And they were like some Italian y'know I go that's reassuring to Americans though.
It is. I'm like, oh we're not the worst. We're just as bad. Yeah. Do you have a favorite book or author.
OK, right now it's Joe Abercrombie. Joe Abercrombie. Right. OK, I don't know who that is.
He writes fantasy novels and I think he's as good as Tolkin.
Can you tell me how do I get involved in this person? The first book I think is called The Blade Itself. The Blade Itself. All right. But I just read a really good book called Pilt City, which is a very true story. And it is so wild. And you'll read it going like, why don't I know about this? It's about when Freddie Gray was killed or died from his injuries in 2015. And then there all those riots took place in Baltimore.
These two teenagers in this gang, they robbed fifty two pharmacies over those three days, four days, stole one hundred million dollars worth of opiates. Wow. And the rest of the story just gets wilder and wilder. OK, pills. Yeah, pills. That is great. OK, really good.
What is your greatest extravagance. Wine, I buy too much of it and I drink too much of it, and I love it and I just have to like make sure I exercise every day because I, I collect it and it's it's like I could really have used that money to buy like a car or something.
Some day when this is all over, can my fiance and I come over and drink some of your wine with you and you. Yes. OK, thanks. Come on over. Thanks Joe. I have to get rid of it, huh?
Well, you can also go to the storage space that I have full of it.
In one word. How would you like to be remembered? Oh, geez, I know it's the worst one. Because nobody can answer that for themselves, if I were to be asked this question, I wish someone would pop in and say, oh, she's remarkable.
Yeah, I mean, I don't think anyone's going to remember. But I'll say, like, oh, he was a nice person. It's got a long way in my life as we already talked about her life just being nice and being nice back on some sort of work situation is worth its weight in gold because you spent so much time, you know, working a lot of the time, just like you were cool to people. I mean, like Ted Danson.
Look at him look. Right. It's pretty much well known that he's one of the nicest people in the business. And that's quite a wonderful reputation.
I love that. OK, I know you have to go. God bless you. OK, Joel, I adore you. Thank you so much.
And please send the I don't know what kind of animal you sacrifice and drink its blood to look as young as you do. But please send it my way. I'll trade you wine for it.
You got it. Unqualified qualified advice is brought to you by better health if you think you may be depressed or you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Better health offers licensed professional therapists who are trained to listen and help better health counselors have expertise in a broad range of areas, including anxiety, grief, depression, trauma, relationship, conflicts, self-esteem and more. Connect privately with your licensed counselor by text, phone or video calls and get help on your own time, at your own pace and at an affordable rate.
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So get started today at Better E LP Dotcom FARC. I talk to a therapist online and get help. Hey, everyone, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman is back on the show. Scott is the author of Transcend the New Science of Self Actualization, and his work has appeared in the Atlantic, Scientific American Psychology Today and Harvard Business Review. For more on Scott and our other experts, you can find links on our Web site, Unqualified Dotcom. Hey, how's it going?
Hey, Scott, thanks for doing this. Thanks for having me on. All right. We're going to call Adam. Hello. Hey, Adam. Hey, how's it going? Oh, great. Hey, thank you so much for talking with us. I am here with Scott Barry Kaufman. He hosts the psychology podcast and he's a professor at Columbia University. All kinds of crazy credentials.
Hey, Adam, how's it going?
Hey, Adam, will you tell us what's going on? Yeah, the last year has been pretty crazy in my life. Aside from the pandemic, I got laid off from my job last summer and then my mom got sick. She passed away in December.
God, I am so sorry, Adam. And then obviously, the pandemic started in the New Year, and then my relationship sort of ended about a month into the pandemic. So I just sort of been like living this weird sort of existence for the last year and a bit. I'm still living with my ex, which is like the weird part, I think.
Yeah. Adam is like reading your email. I'm like, I don't know why Adam's not talking about the most crucial part. Can I read a few sentences from your email, if you don't mind for sure? Yeah. You wrote, My life has completely changed over the last year. Pre pandemic made your life changes, including losing my full time job in 2019, losing my mom to cancer in December, and my 10 year relationship ending a month into the pandemic.
Although we are still living together due to financial situations and we have a dog who I'd like to not leave.
Adam, what a fucking shit show you've had. Yeah, I mean, let's be honest.
There's lots of people going through way worse. It's just this is all like in my my one year, like, real drama. But yeah, I mean, the relationship, I think I think we both sort of knew it was coming but didn't really want to admit it. And then when the pandemic started, we sort of had more time to talk about things. And just financially, we've had to continue living together, which has been fine. But it is a little bit awkward, obviously, you know, just being together but not being together.
Adam, did you end the relationship?
Well, we ended it together. He and I talk to and just decided that we knew that things were not great being in that romantic aspect of the relationship.
It feels like, you know, if my gut is right, that it was either very mutual or you were the one who initiated.
I think I've been feeling that way for a while. It's not anything that like either of us did because we get along really well. But there was no romantic side of anything anymore. And we sort of just realized that, like, we've become really good friends over the last 10 years, we're sort of moving to that side of our relationship, I guess.
Wow. So do you mind my asking, Adam, are you and more of a financial bind their partner or is it vice versa?
Me, mostly because I'm currently like just with job situation. Like, I'm only working a little bit at the moment full time. So it's harder for me to, I guess, to make a decision to move out and kind of get my own place and do my own thing. But I also have a little bit of money from after my mom passed away so I could move out, I suppose. But I without a full time income, it's a harder decision to make.
I think you should move. Yeah, Adam, I do. I do this abrupt normally, but I do because I think if you guys are going to be together again, if that ever happens, if that's something that either of you want, it's important that there might be like a restart he's got. Am I off?
Why can't you simultaneously look for full time jobs while you're still living with him?
I definitely have been. It's just before the pandemic started, and I guess in between December and the pandemic, I decided that I was going to maybe make a career change and look into some of the stuff. And then obviously that's become more difficult because of the pandemic and people not maybe hiring as much for those jobs not being around. And I obviously I said a computer all the time and apply for jobs and stuff, and it's just been a little bit difficult to actually find something and move on, I guess.
May I ask what field I work in the media like I work in radio, but I've been doing that for almost 20 years.
Hey, Adam, how do you feel on a daily basis the effect of your mom passing?
I feel like that's something that I probably haven't dealt with very well yet. And I maybe it's because that happened in mid-December and then a couple of months later, the world shut down. So I've had like other things to sort of think about. So, yeah, I don't know if I actually fully dealt with the loss of my mom. I don't know if that's something that I've kind of come to terms with.
I suppose, you know, it's a journey that we all have ahead of us. And I'm. Sorry you had to go through it sooner rather than later. Do you both feel right now that you are in this like let's say you're in the kitchen and he comes through? Is there any touching? Is there like did you do the dishes? Like, what is sort of the communication, what degree of awkwardness or resentment coming from either side?
Like I think maybe it's more my awkwardness, like not being awkward around them to live together for 10 years. So, you know, that's not the awkward part. I think it's just the awkward part of living with someone who I was with. And I'm not anymore. And part of me thinks that, I guess trying to decide whether or not to move on and do something different in my life, just in general, sort of came because of the fact that I could lose my mom.
And it's like one of those things where I just sort of saw that moment of like, well, we we don't have all the time in the world. So maybe it's time to, like, find a new path. I guess. I don't know if that makes any sense at all. But, Adam, it totally does.
You're going through like a mortality check, like what do I want to accomplish out of life? Because it's a slap in the face recognition that it's short for me.
I'm I'm not the type of person who just wants to, like, you know, sleep around. And that's never been my thing. But I don't know that maybe there's because this relationship didn't work out the way I thought maybe it would. I mean, we were young. We were 10 years younger when we first met. And we've grown a lot. We both sort of want different things, I think now. So the awkwardness for me is more that it's not that I don't love him as a person and as a friend, but I don't know if, like, even if we wanted to still be friends afterwards, which I know we will be, it doesn't allow me to move on and experience life by myself.
Do you think that your ex has stronger feelings towards you or a stronger motivation to be in a relationship with you than you do?
I think he's totally cool with like us just living together and being friends. Like, I don't feel like he feels the same way I do, but I'm terrible at talking about my feelings. But here I am talking to two strangers about itself.
So, Adam, if your ex has an emotional attachment to you and you feel a little bit anxious about finance and a dog and just living a decade, that is fucking scary to think about change. But I would encourage it. Adam, I think that you wrote us for a reason because I think that you maybe want to. Don't you think?
Yeah. I mean, I think I want to. But then there's the worry comes up like, OK, so yeah, I could move out financially. I'm able to and for a short period of time. But at the same time, like if a job doesn't happen at some point in the next couple of months, then that's when I start to like freak myself out I guess. Yeah.
Yeah, that makes sense because it's fucking tough right now. And in a normal world, it would be easier because the job market would be more open.
Yeah. Adam, let me offer some thoughts, hopefully offer you some comfort. You know, in our field of psychology, we we talk about there's a constant tension between security and growth, you know, and and sometimes under certain conditions, we cling towards safety. And it makes complete sense that during covid, during a global pandemic, so much uncertainty that you would be clinging to safety right now, maybe even more so than than before, and also considering all the traumas you've gone through recently.
But there's also a field that I really recommend you look into called post-traumatic growth. And this field of post-traumatic growth is really to understand, well, what can you do in your life to to really find meaning in these horrible things that have happened to you and reprivatize your life and change all of your your goal hierarchy, as they call it. You know what means the most to you in life? This is a good time for you to really reflect on that, I think, and to think about how you want to grow in the directions of the things that mean the most to you in your life right now.
And I think both out and I are feeling in our gut here that, you know, it's you're going to have some decision to make some change, something to move you out of your comfort zone, even even a little bit in the direction that is most meaningful to you. So you can grow I think you don't have to wait for a pandemic is over. I don't want to wait till you have a full time job for you to move in the direction of growth.
So I think we're both encouraging that.
Adam, oftentime, we get these amazing letters from people like you that it almost seems like they're answering their own question or they want confirmation. Right. And you definitely fit into the category, in my opinion, that you want support for the idea of change, which is terrifying. Change is so fucking scary. Oh, my God. I've been through two divorces and, you know, it it's like you think. Things are going one way and then there's a big pivot and it's thrilling and scary and head spinning, but I get that sense from your letter, Adam, that you are ready for a change that involves growth outside of this relationship, which might really mean moving out.
Are you close enough to your ex to explain these things, or do you think that he would get hurt if you said, like, I need a bit of change and you need a bit of space, you know how much money I have, I can afford it for this long. Like, what do you think? Or you guys in that kind of space at all?
Yeah, we always talk during our relationship, like, you know, we always said to each other, like, we have to be open and honest and it's not always the easiest thing to do. And I think for me right now, it's a little bit harder, to be honest, just because I don't want to start a fight. And we admit that that's this is interesting.
You guys still fight?
No, we don't fight. Like we have little argument. That's the thing is that it feels like we're still in a relationship, even though we're not, because we're together with no benefits from. All right.
But it's that sort of thing, right? Because I'm the type of person who never wants to cause any sort of friction. I don't always share my my thoughts or my feelings. And then it makes it worse for me. Then I get upset, like I'll blow up later because, you know, it's all of these feelings are stuck inside me. Yeah.
What I'm trying to get out at Adam, I think is is your partner more in love with you than you are with him?
Maybe. I guess if I was like to have to give you an answer, I would probably say yes. But like, he's more comfortable being like in the current situation, he's like totally fine with it. And he still talks about like, oh, we should do this or we should do that. And it's like, yeah, we can do things. But at the same time, like, there's part of me that wants to just be like, well, you know, I'm trying to separate I guess I'm trying to separate myself from the relationship, but still be friends by.
And so when I say things, I'm like, yeah, like you can totally go and do that or you can do this. But then he always reverts back to being us.
I just wonder, is there a way I wonder how receptive your roommate would be to you saying I think that this is an important time for me to spend like three months on my own. Would you mind? Because you're an important part of my life. You'll always be a part of my life. I'm not quite sure where I'm at, dealing with my mom, dealing with all of this. Can I ask you for the generosity of still having you in my life?
Does that sound like something that you could do or would want to?
Yeah, I mean, he's very important to me, like always will be. There's no doubt about it. And I think he'd be receptive to whatever feelings I have. But it's that, you know, it's what we talked about, the uncertainty of it. This is like my safety right here, like being where I am. But I think you'd be open to hearing I don't know if you would be super happy if I moved out or if I did my own thing, but I think he would be receptive to talking about it.
Adam, I just had another thought occurred to me because you haven't been alone for a decade and it's man, it can be tough. It's like something that you crave, of course. But then when it happens, like, you know, day seven, you find yourself not quite knowing what, especially during this time when we are really on top of each other. I find myself having a hard time being alone in a way that kind of takes me by surprise a little bit because I felt like I was always a bit of a solitary person.
I had a dream of living in the Yukon. I really did as a little girl is very odd. Doesn't sound awful. It doesn't sound awful.
But, um, is there anywhere you can go just to get away and clear your head? Like, would that kind of idea appeal to you so you could use this time in a different way that you hadn't really thought of before?
Yeah, I mean, I did get away for a couple of days a few months ago just to just to get away. But I think I tried to pack too much into doing stuff in a couple of days, which I didn't need to do was I should have just like relax for maybe something like that with the help, like just getting away. Even if I just went somewhere for a week, completely anywhere, even close by, right? Oh, totally.
I think, like, at least you'll be able to gauge there'll be moments where you'll have a at least if you're me at a moments of like kind of independent euphoria like what could happen and then moments of like, fuck I. In a shitty hotel room, and I really miss I really miss, like having somebody curled up next to me. Yeah, but you might be able to gauge sort of how comfortable you are with it, right?
It's not like you're moving into a new apartment where you're setting up a whole new lifestyle for yourself. This is like a temporary mental check. Scott, what do you think? I like that idea a lot. I feel like you, don't I?
I if I had like let's say you're one of my clients and I had a longer amount of time to talk with you, I'd really want to dive into the specific areas of life that you most want to grow in right now. You know, like with the media, even though you're not finding a full time job, what can you do to can you volunteer for an organization? I'm not 100 percent convinced that just getting out of your current living situation is going to be what you need as much as feeling like you're growing in other areas of your life so that you don't feel like you need this as the security blanket.
Does that make sense?
That makes a lot of sense to me, too. Yeah, just I was just thinking about asking if a job happened or something on that side of things changed for me with my mentality or my feelings about where I'm living with that change would become easier. Yes, I think so, Adam.
I think any lifestyle change will be very impactful in terms of your your reflection on your relationship right now for positive or negative.
I think that's quite right. I mean, I am pretty convinced that a lot of these concerns you're having, if your attentional focus is somewhere else towards a more growth oriented direction, I'm pretty convinced that a lot of these concerns won't even become concerns for anymore. And you'll even be like, oh, you know what? Of course I'm moving. Something will be more clear to you, you know, practice of compassion as well. Right now, I'm, like, really big into that, you know, self compassion meditations.
But be kind to yourself during this time and realize that during this pandemic and all this uncertainty and the trauma, I think of all the things you've gone through very natural to want to cling to a safety solution. But I think ultimately, you know, we're both encouraging you here to find the areas of your life that are most going to lead to growth and lead to pride and enjoyment in your work, your job, your life. You know, you want to feel like you're future oriented thinking.
Right now, we want to give you kind of a hopeful mindset versus a security oriented mindset. Does that make sense?
Yeah, totally does. Yeah. It's just I mean, it's just been a lot I don't know if I ever deal with things the way I should you properly, but so I feel like all of this together at one time. It's just been I haven't been able to like kind of take each thing and just sort of deal with it. Yeah.
Scott, what do you think about when a traumatic event happens and then a snowballing effect of change, like when one of your pillars in your life has been like rocked, then do you start to irrationally or very rationally examine the other stable factions in your life?
Psychologists call it a psychologically seismic earthquake. Is what happened to you and what happens with any earthquakes is you had to rebuild. There has to be an acceptance part of this where you realize, well, things are cracked. You know, this happened my expectations, things were going along. And I was thinking, oh, well, this is the way life is. And then this psychological earthquake happened. And you're like, wow, things really can change that quickly, but you don't only have to rebuild.
But what emerges from this can be something really growth oriented. I mean, there can be a real prioritization of what's important to you. I mean, have you reflected during this time about the things that they give you the most meaning in your life and maybe things you took for granted before the stuff happened?
Yeah, I mean, I guess I took for granted, like, you know, having family around, like we moved to a new city a few years ago. So I'm not around my family right now. Like, I can't go home and see them because we can't you know, we can't see each other. Right. So that I sort of maybe took for granted and even even work I took for granted because I had a good job. I was doing well in what I was doing.
And I mean, we we all complain about our job sometimes. And I think maybe I complained a little bit too much and took it for granted. And then when it was gone, you know, I didn't expect to not be able to get back to doing what I was doing. You know, not like over a year later, I didn't think I'd be not doing that again. So, yeah, I mean, I'm trying to reflect on myself and what I want out of my life now.
Hey, Adam, this is only a question maybe for you to think about if you feel like it from the very unqualified person on this call. But I wonder how your partner would describe your breakup. I don't know. I don't know if he would say something like, you know, once Adam's mom died, things shifted or the pandemic or like how he is framing things. And it might not be important at all. But remember how I was like, oh, Adam, yeah, you should move out.
I'm kind of backing away a little bit from that right now. I don't know how much intense sort of isolation you are ready to have.
And I say that truly, Adam, as a person who craves it and romanticizes it, but then is also like, you know, I'm not actually moving to the Yukon. Right.
I do wonder if during this time, maybe a bit of a solid foundation of familiarity is what you need. Can I ask you, like, would you enjoy a road trip with your partner, your ex?
Yeah, I mean, we get along so well that we don't really fight. We don't like we do get along and we we could drive together, no problem.
But I just don't know if you want to spend that much time.
Well, I mean, we're we're together. I mean, he works well now and luckily is able to work and be out of the apartment and stuff. And I'm I've basically been at home for seven months other than the few days that I do work in the week. And I think maybe that's sort of like getting to me a bit. Also, maybe it's that completely right. Like, obviously that's like I mean, we're all sort of we're all in that same sort of boat, I suppose.
But hey, Adam, I did have another question, if you don't mind my interrupting you. How are you feeling about the relationship before your mom passed?
I think the relationship was was okay. Yeah, but we also, like I mentioned, we moved from one to another, and I've never been fully happy living in the current city we're in. Mm.
But I think it's because I left the job that I really loved and then. Oh. Came to one that wasn't as great in terms of like the people I was working with and then. Yeah. Just not being like fully, never really being fully happy living where we're living now. So I don't know, it's like if I had resentment not being that towards him, but just in being taken away from like something that I really feel makes so much sense.
And in even though it's not your partner's fault, you moved by your own volition to have a relationship with your partner. But yes, of course, like going from a community that you had that you felt validated in.
And yeah, I would. I'm human. If I were you at home, I would be like, I'm mad and I can't even blame anybody. Right.
There's no easy answer here. But I think that it's important to recognize that you don't need to move out to move on. And there are a lot of things you can do right now to expand your life and move your your head in a more future oriented direction. And then I won't be such a constant reminder. Like I feel like this living environment right now is this constant sense of like a feeling of like you're stuck in some way. But I think that feeling can be transcended even without moving out if you can open up your life in other ways.
OK, you know.
Yeah, yeah. I describe I describe my life right now. It's like the movie Groundhog Day. Yeah. Basically because it's the same sort of thing all the time. Right. Like it's just my days are the same. I'm sure what you asked earlier about whether or not I feel like I could like express that and I guess I know I can I you know, I could be like, hey, we need to have a talk. And like, I just want to tell you how I'm feeling because we're good like that.
But at the same time, like, I get so like I don't want to upset you or upset anyone by telling you how I'm truly feeling. But at the same time, I know that I have to, like, take care of myself right now and be the best for me, which makes it really hard to like want to be honest and open about how I'm feeling because I don't want to hurt anybody else.
Yeah, but I think that it's not a right time to be a little bit selfish and healthy.
Selfishness is what we call. Yeah. Like that. You want to have a little healthy selfishness. Go my Web site. You can take the healthy option scale for free and you can assess where you are. You might need to up your up your number on that one.
OK, Scott, I feel like I would like cross into unhealthy selfishness. I know I would mysticism. Yeah, Scott, is there any practical advice we and by we I mean you can give to Adam, should he try to take some time alone?
I would give you a homework assignment of an exercise to really reflect and see. First of all, how does it feel different being, you know, really meditate on that feeling and see her and write down, have a journal, write down. How does that feel different? Having that autonomy, that freedom? Is it scary? Can you handle it?
You know, right now, are you are you at a place in your life where you can handle a lot of questions? It would be a good experiment. I'm totally with you on it. And I think but we need to add on some extra reflective activities there. And also, if you feel like, you know what, I can do this, you know, I can I can get used to this. I can adjust to this. I also think about the different priorities.
Are you thinking more clearly or differently about the things that matter most in your life when you're away from that house? You know, so it's a really good opportunity for reflection. Here you go.
Adam, I can't thank you enough for sharing your story because please know that you are not alone at all. And I really, really appreciate it.
Thank you. I did want to say, like, thank you for the stuff that you do on your podcast. I listen every week and all of the people you have on, there's always something I take away from it.
So thank you, Adam. That kind of makes me want to cry. But Adam, I can't thank you enough. You're an amazing person.
I leave you with a resource as well. So, yeah, for sure. First of all, I would recommend that you open up your shared vulnerability with the person you're living with. So definitely like you opened up to us. It's a really beautiful side of yourself and you shouldn't be ashamed of that. But also, I want to give you the resource of James Pennebaker's work on expressive writing. I mean, there is a literature on for people who are dealing with trauma and want to grow from it.
There's a good scientific foundation there that just even 15, 20 minutes of journaling a day of just cognitively like writing down the emotions that you're feeling and trying to find meaning in your traumas and your past experiences can really help you move forward.
I advocate a short road trip some time where you can I find it kind of meditative to just stare at the freeways and listening to things and maybe space and expansion just on that small level, maybe can give you pause a reflection on sort of the things that you want. Yeah, totally agree.
We're rooting for you, man. Hey, Adam, thank you. Truly.
Oh, thank you. I appreciate both of you and your time today. It's been great. All the best to you. Thank you, Adam.
Thank you, Scott. Thanks again for doing this. You're amazing.
Oh, my pleasure. It was so much fun. So much fun. Bye.