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Men fall into two categories when it comes to emotions:

They either think it’s a sign of weakness. Or believe emotions are everything.

In both cases, this causes your emotions to control you, instead of the other way around. You either repress your emotions and let them haunt your psyche. Or you’re so overwhelmed by them that you can’t do anything.

The answer to both of these problems is to master your emotions. Emotions are a skill, like riding a bike or shooting a basketball. When you get better at emotions, you improve in relationships, attract love, and become more fulfilled in life.

In this episode, you’ll discover how to better control your emotions before they ruin your life.

Listen now and play life on “easy mode.”

Show Highlights Include:

  • The sneaky way your discipline devours your power and enjoyment of life (even if you think it helps) (1:08)
  • Why repressing your emotions is the culprit behind your chronic exhaustion (1:47)
  • How success blinds you of your deep-seeded emotional baggage which subtly cripples your happiness (3:50)
  • The “Changing Goalposts” trap achievers fall into which keeps happiness forever out of reach (6:03)
  • The “emotions mean weakness infection” which poisons your joy from the inside out (14:01)
  • How toxic shame can make you happier, healthier, and sexier (26:36)
  • Why treating your emotions like your biceps helps you attract unconditional love and joy (33:38)
  • The weird way repressed masculinity disguises itself as toxic masculinity and imprisons pleasure (35:14)

To learn more about the Emotional Mastery program, go here:

Emotional Mastery App

Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I've helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I'm therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.

For more about David Tian, go here:


Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now, here's your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.

(00:19): Welcome to the masculine ecology podcast. I'm David 10, your host, this episode is all about your emotions, emotional control, emotional skill, emotional mastery. I'm talking about control over emotions that you don't want to feel as well as the emotions that you want to feel, that it will be in your control to feel more of the emotions that you want to feel and less of the emotions that you don't want to feel. And then to question whether there are even such things as good or bad emotions at all, also as part of emotional skill or emotional control is the question of repression or suppression. And when you suppress something long enough, it eventually becomes repressed. If you suppress your remote emotions long enough, it'll be harder and harder to actually even access those emotional states and people who live with a lot of emotional repression, which is a lot of people who live according to discipline willpower, the hustle and grind, and grin and Barrett.

(01:19): A lot of achievers who live under that re oppressive energy have difficulty accessing the full rainbow of their emotions, the full range of their emotions, the full range of emotions available to them and therefore the full range of their power and the full range of their enjoyment of life and the full richness of their lives and dead living lives that are dull monotone dreary, and they will often feel exhausted and tired after repressing so much for so long. And if that's you, or if any of this resonates with you, then this is the episode for you. So why are emotions so important? Well it's because emotions are everything it's common for achievers to be mostly oriented and focused on goals. And almost always these goals are action oriented. They're about getting the raise or making a certain amount of money or winning the game or the season or, or winning the trophy or something along those lines.

(02:27): And they never stopped to question why they're doing that in the first place. Why is this a worthy goal? Because a long time ago in the formative years, often in early childhood in order to get or keep and keep the attention acceptance approval love of their caregivers, their parents, mostly they had to become a certain way and many achievers are pleasers or rebels. Most of them are pleasers and achievers are kind of a subset of the pleaser in order to get that acceptance and approval and attention of the ones that they craved it from the most and were actually dependent on in many ways, for even just for life, they had to become a certain way. And that way was often for my audience and achievers. And that was my Mo and maybe it's yours as well and achievers and all of those who aspire to be achievers.

(03:29): So you could aspire to be like, you could have decided I'm gonna be the achiever as your main coping strategy, and yet not be a very successful achiever because maybe you didn't have the tools or the mentors or the right resources to show you how to achieve effectively. But maybe you did, maybe your genes, your genetic background really helped as well. And maybe you did, maybe you did succeed. And maybe that would often what that means is that you're not going to be able to ask these questions until an extra 10, 20 years, because your outward success numbs, you distracts, you, pacifies you for that period of time until you finally realize you're tired, exhausted. And the whole thing is endless and meaningless. Now, if you fell flat in your face earlier on, you might have been able to come to that conclusion earlier, but then you wouldn't get all the success that you have.

(04:20): So the, those goals, as I mentioned, financial, economic athletics, whatever that goal is of success and achievement, we think that that's all there is that emotions either get in the way of getting these goals, or sometimes it can help you get these goals so that emotions and even therapy and, and especially life coaching and self-help, and that sort of thing are used as tools in the service of achieving these outer goals, these external goals, these achievement oriented goals of making more money, getting a better body, getting the girls for some of you guys, whatever it is, unfortunately, achievers or aspiring achievers, lose sight of the why behind their goals in the first place and many achievers and aspiring achievers haven't ever, or have difficulty asking the big, why question of, why would I be doing this at all? And for many people at the beginning of achieving goals, a lot of it has to do with certainty or security.

(05:30): So the most basic need that's being met by making money, by reaching a minimal financial goal is the security that you'll get and the feeling of security and the feeling of that you'd get from having enough to pay the bills, pay the rent and the electricity and so on. And just knowing that that's there. So you're not living on the street, but even if you end up on the street, you get certainty. If you discover that there's a place that will take you for the night now that's on the low end of things. And on the upper end for anyone who's been an achiever for a while, you'll notice that your goal post keeps changing, keeps moving. It is never enough because, well, you probably bought into this whole thing about growth, how you gotta keep growing and the competition keeps moving with you. So you gotta keep improving and it can never be enough.

(06:25): And in fact, it never is enough for achievers and they, that's why they get exhausted and can never really rest because they're always beating themselves up to get to the next level, even when they don't really want to do the thing and anymore the activity that will take them there, maybe they're burnt out or they're, they've lost their zest for it. So at the upper end of these goals, it's not just for security anymore, though, that still plays a big part in it. But it's also for significance for this feeling of accomplishment. And these are all, these are all emotions, the feeling that you are somebody therefore you're significant, therefore you're worthy. Therefore you are enough in the feeling of accomplishment, even feeling flow. When you're in flow, doing the activity, these are feelings. There's a feeling of happiness and joy at the end of that.

(07:16): And hopefully during it, but no matter what your goals are for the goals to get off the ground for them to motivate you, even motivation, of course, is a feeling right to even have that activity, get off the ground for you to start it. It starts with emotion. And what it's aiming at is some emotion like when you're making money, you are not actually actually motivated to do it, just to get little pieces of green paper or whatever color paper your money is. It's what you hope to be able to do with that money that you're hoping will give you certain feelings, even just having the money. If it's just a habit, it's this feeling of security or it's a feeling of accomplishment, cause you've earned it in some way. And so it's not just the paper money. So if, if it was about earning that feeling of accomplishment, if you were just to get the paper or the trophy without actually earning it, you wouldn't get the feeling of earning it.

(08:11): So no matter what, how you cash it out, it ends up becoming about feelings all the way up and down the whole spectrum of human and decisions. And in fact, there's a great term for this, from philosophy it's called bird's. And you like to use the word instead of donkey, cuz it's easier to remember and it sticks in your memory. Bird's bird was a 14th century, French philosopher. So it's named after him. But this point was made by Aristotle in many other philosophers before him bird ands. And this is the image. So the a, the, the donkey is at a crossroads and the UA it's usually played out is on one. So he is at a fork in the road and one road is water. And the other road is food and he's equally thirsty and hungry.

(09:00): He's standing at the crossroads and he's looking at his equal distance from the food in the water and he's equally hungry and thirsty. And therefore this burden's can't decide which way to go. Should I go for the water? Should I go for the food? And he is caught an indecision and he stays in indecision because he can't, there's no motivating force to push him in one direction or the other that will top the other direction. They're equidistant. And they're equally motivating because he is equally hungry and thirsty and he just stands at the crossroads and then dies. And how this applies to emotions is that we, especially those of my generation on gen X. And I know many of you are millennials and millennials, I think generally speaking, it's considered to be born 1980 to 95. I was born in the seventies.

(09:51): So my generation especially bought into the sort of modernist to myth that rationality was everything and was the most important thing that emotions merely cloud rationality. So the belief that we bought into for those of us born in the seventies and earlier, is that if you can just get clear of your emotions, then you'll be able to make perfectly rational decisions. And then you'll finally find happiness, joy, and peace. And of course that's. And maybe you don't realize this yet, but like I'm showing you all the way up and down. You it's all about emotion to get yourself out of burdens paradox, or to get yourself out of that stuck place. You have to start from wanting something. It all starts from emotion. There's a great illustration of this in star Trek. Now I might be dating myself again, I'm gen X, but it's a great illustration.

(10:44): I haven't found anything better. The first generation had SP who was this ultra rational, very physically powerful soldier. And he comes from a race of people, Vulcans who repress their emotions and do so in an extreme way so that they can be ultra rational and can control of all of their cognitive and physical faculties at a much higher level than the emotional humans represented by Kirk. And that was Spock. He was the sort of ideal. And he was also a foil to the main character of Kirk in the third series or version of star Trek, this star Trek, the next generation starring Patrick Stewart in that series, I've seen all seven season, multiple times Spock was replaced by commander data who was this Android who beats Spock and all of those things that Spock takes pride in or in the Vulcan race took pride in being ultra rational physically capable.

(11:43): He was an Android and he didn't have to repress any emotions cuz he didn't have any emotions. And this is sort of a postmodern take on it on the modernist myth of pure rationality. And from the first episode, commander data is singing the song from the wizard of Oz, the tin man song about the heart and what he's missing is these emotions. And for the whole seven seasons, he's searching for his makers emotion chip, cuz he, he wants to feel what humans feel, which is already you flaw in the design of this plot. And because he's already feeling this want, right? So even just to get this, if you were a perfect computer, if he was perfect AI, he wouldn't have these desires, right. But because he's got these desires, he also discovers this lack in him and he's wanting to fill that emptiness.

(12:31): He's already got psychological issues as an Android and that gets it off the ground for us to really care about this character. But it's an interesting illustration of the contrast between a modernist ideal and this newer postmodernist ideal. And one of the there's a many phases of postmodernism this early phase, relatively early was pointing out importance of emotion. And there's a great book that is part of this in 1980s, Antonio DeMaio is a really famous neuroscientist. He wrote a book called Dakar's error and the Cartesian error is Decart is, you know, I think therefore I am right. And he's the brain in the VA that kind of that generation of philosophy of mind epistemology and so forth. And the Cartesian error is thinking that all we are is the thinking brain and that there is this clean separation between the thinking mind and the feeling body.

(13:28): And that's just obviously not true. And I hope that's obviously not true to you cause I don't have the eight weeks at least of a grad level seminar to point it out to you. But if you wanted to dig deeper, you can always read Damasio's book Dakar's error and this Cartesian error, this great myth that still infects unconsciously, cuz it's sort of in the background still, even though this is the old paradigm of the fifties, sixties and seventies, it's still infecting a lot of the ways that people think about their emotions. A lot of people, especially achiever type men believe that emotions, most emotions are inappropriate or show weakness of some kind. And then of course, then this links up to toxic masculinity and the, the toxic part of the masculinity hope you guys are, are getting triggered by even the term cuz I know on the right, this is a triggering term, it's also a triggering term on the left, but more defensive reaction on the right.

(14:26): And of course there's masculinity, that's toxic. If the macho, you know, the macho bully, right? Who is all about aggression and taking from others and so on. And the toxic masculinity of repressing re repressing emotions as if emotions except for the manly ones of anger or something along those lines aggression. But that all the other emotions are of vulnerability, especially just means that you're weak in some way. And that's. And if you buy into that, you're going to have a lot of repression in your life. And very likely if you have bought into that and have not worked through it, you probably are repressed emotionally and are living out the consequences of that emotional repression in your life because emotions are not just to get to the project of decision of action of life off the ground. It starts with emotion and it's aimed at emotion.

(15:21): So it's beginning and ends our emotion. Plus the middle of it. If you're not enjoying the journey of your life. In other words, if you're not enjoying your life, then you're not enjoying life. And if you're putting off the enjoyment of your life for some far off goal and hoping that that will make you happy, the joke's on you because you're not enjoying the ride. So in a way sort of pointless that the whole point up and down the whole thing, a good life is one that has lived where the beginning, the middle and the end, the emotions that dominate that life are the ones that you want to experience. And that's relative and subjective, what you want to experience. And a lot of guys are so afraid. And so I want to trigger the macho tough guys, or if there's a macho toughness in you are so afraid, cowards, little scared, little boys, they're so afraid of their emotions.

(16:17): They're so afraid of appearing weak that they limit, which emotions are acceptable for them. But it's almost impossible to limit to just one or two emotions. It's like in some way, you're gonna have to selectively filter color. So all you see or shades of black and white, and guess what? The result is a gray life. And a lot of guys are living with a gray life and in their forties, fifties, sixties, and onwards, they it's really hopefully coming to the fore for them that they're missing something. And a big part of what's missing is the fact that they don't realize they're feeling the whole way. Even if you're repressing, you're still feeling, you're just not consciously aware of it. That's the bad part about it. I mean like if suppressing worked right then you could actually be a Vulcan, right? So if, or in other words, really, if you suppressed, you can suppress in the short term, like let's say you are a soldier on the front line and you literally hear in this instance, the soldier on the front line, enemy's firing at you and assuming you wanna stay alive.

(17:25): Cause that is okay. So you're assuming the goal is stay alive and to help the guys around you on your side, stay alive. If those are your goals, then they may not be helped by you feeling vulnerability. Totally get it. So you can suppress them up to a certain point because you are an odd Android. If you were an Android, you'd be even better than Vander data, cuz you wouldn't even notice that you lack anything cuz you wouldn't care because you don't have emotions, but you're instead you're a Vulcan or you're trying to be which you can't be actually you're human, right? So Vulcans aren't real. But if you're a Vulcan, you can suppress it. And even in the actual telling of the tail of Spock, he's actually half Vulcan I think, or a quarter Vulcan thinks half he isn't able to suppress it completely.

(18:07): And then it comes out with mode. He's actually feeling intense emotions under the surface and it takes an incredible amount of willpower and discipline for him to suppress it. And after a while you suppress it so long, it just gets repressed unconsciously. So it says like the shield or like this vault that gets shut down. But underneath inside the vault or all of these, what I haves therapy would call exiles feeling all kinds of pain as well as the potential to feel all kinds of playful and the spontaneity, easy goingness, carefree. The sense of joy and fun in play that is lost to almost all achievers who natural default state is or natural default approach to life is willpower and discipline and therefore needing to repress, right? Their childlike emotions as well as all of their tender vulnerability, including love and joy and compassion right too.

(19:01): So that they, the level that they feel them is so minimal. So low that hopefully you are starting to become aware of that, of the kind of emptiness and grayness and drudgery and hard work that life entails, oh God, how exhausting it is to just be on that treadmill of life that it never ends. You have to keep going back to work. You can't stop. You have to keep going. You gotta keep going to the next thing. The next thing keep going up and up and up. And you're never enough. Life is never enough. You never have enough. And that's the nightmare trap of the achiever. Success breeds more success, but then it breeds the inability to be content with what you have, which you could have had right at the beginning. And that's part of why it's a trap. The burdens points it all out because it's emotions are everything.

(19:49): Emotions are at the beginning and at they're at the end and they're in the middle now for those who are gen Z or younger coddled by later postmodernism, this may be new in, in a different way. They're listening to old people's viewpoints because they have the opposite problem where they're being coddled and being told that their emotions are everything in the disempowering sense. And this episode, as well as the next couple episodes are also speaking to them because your emotions are, can be controlled. They can be regulated, they can be managed and handled and you can improve in this. It is involves a set of skills. So knowing that emotions are everything should be empowering and freeing in one sense in a big way, for many people of in my generation, gen X or the generation after the millennials, because now you know that you don't have to that life is not well lived.

(20:43): If you repress all of your emotions. And then for those who are just given to their emotions and are controlled by their emotions, who often feel emotional, overwhelmed, and suck at suppression or repression, right? Because like I was pointing out with the example of the soldier. There are times when it can help you obviously, but over the long term, we're humans, we're not robots and we're not Vulcans. So there's still emotion going on. You're just pushing it down. It's sort of like the water's boiling in the pot and you got that lid on it. And for a while, the lid is able to hold down that steam. But after a while, what happens is the steam makes the lid go. And then eventually the steam will push the lid off because it can't hold it down any further. Now suppression long enough becomes repression, right?

(21:34): And then it, all of that bubbling under the surface is still happening. It's that you just added another lid or a thicker lid, or you've increased the weight of the lid or something like that. You've sealed it in, but it's just a powder keg waiting to blow. And when it does, when you see somebody who's been repressing a long time and he gets triggered and can't hold a back anymore, it blows up. Right? And then the younger generation has the opposite problem. They're just bleeding emotions all the time and don't know how to handle control or regulate their own emotions. There are constantly many of them in emotion overwhelm and they violate other people's boundaries by blaming them and holding them responsible for their emotions that they themselves feel like you made me feel X. And so you hear that a lot in the college campuses and so forth. Do you struggle in your interactions with women or in your intimate relationship or fear, shame, or neediness sabotaging your relationships or attractiveness? In my platinum partnership program, you'll discover how to transform your psychological issues, improve your success with women and uncover your true self, get access to all my current and future on in courses, by applying for the platinum partnership today at David tn.com/platinum.

(23:02): Okay. So both sides of what I'm pointing out here have the same problem of a lack of emotional facility. And this episode, especially the next one. As I walk you through the skills are very important and speak to both sides on this subject of emotions and just pointing out. First of all, this big myth, the Cartesian myth, this Cartesian error of thinking that we're just brains in a bad that we are just thinking brains that happen to be encased in bodies and you can and cut off the, the thinking from the feeling. And instead to point out that tons of psychology, a lot of advances happening in the theory of emotions, the philosophy of emotions and psychology of emotions. I pointed out that emotions guide behavior and decision making from the very beginning and all the way through, and you might have heard another researcher named Jonathan height.

(23:53): A lot of his work has been pointing this out and there are whole teams all over academia and all the research institutes. This is well known now of the importance of emotion for cog mission. So if you want to experience on a consistent basis and within your control, happiness, fulfillment, love joy. Then you are going to have to become emotionally skilled repression. Won't work suppression won't work in the long term, but also being constantly overwhelmed and triggered won't work either because it's still not in your control, even though you're feeling some of these and often if you're emotionally overwhelmed, if that sounds right to you as a descriptor for what you're feeling or you're feeling all the things that you don't enjoy or that you haven't learned to enjoy yet. So all of you need emotional skill. Okay? So this is supposed to be preamble for the three points that I wanted to make.

(24:48): But I guess these points here about the myth of the Cartesian error, the big, why, why is this important? Because emotions are everything. These two points that emotions guide behavior and decision making, everything begins and ends with emotions, it's emotions up and down, all of human experience for a human being. There is very little pure cognition that goes on. And just to even get off the ground on any of these cognitive projects, it starts with emotion and it's always geared. The reason why we want to do something is to feel something as a result for all we know, all we are is feelings. Cause we might be a simulation. Haha. Something you probably discussed in philosophy 1 0 1 university. Right? But no matter what it is, we know we feel so it's sort of like, I feel therefore I am. It's not just, I think because when you think you are already just the fact that you care about something to think about because even when we have an AI, you gotta program it to get started.

(25:45): Right? We have goals that are already, we've already aimed at the aiming of the goals already are emotions. The whole thing up and down is emotions. All of life experience is guided by emotion. So I've got three super quick points here. And the first one I've kind of hinted at already, but it's that when it comes to emotions, it's common for people to think that there are good or bad emotions and it's normal totally for people to want some emotions and not want others. But if you look at it instead as a rainbow of colors or as a, a richness of notes on the musical scale or flavors on your tongue, there aren't any bad flavors, emotions, flavors sounds what else? Colors? And it's the same with emotions. I'll give you an example. Lemme just run through some common ones for you.

(26:36): Cause emotions always tell us something important. And a big part of the therapeutic process is having the endurance to stand, to stay and to feel the emotion long enough, the emotion that might feel at the beginning, uncomfortable to be able to stand it long enough and to stay with it long enough to find out what it can tell you. And as some examples, the feeling of shame, and I've done a lot of work on shame, a lot of modules in my course, rock solid relationships. There's a four actually five module sequence in the course rock solid relationships that walks you through all the various work around toxic shame, including inner child work, grief work and so forth. So toxic shame warns us not to try to be more or less than human toxic shame signals are essential limitations. It's signaling that we're for instance, trying to be EV Vulcans or Androids or perfect in some way that is not human, right?

(27:35): And, and that's, that can be a sign. And if you're feeling that it's important to feel into it, to find its source and only from its, can it be healed? Another example is anger and there are many different ways in which anger can be helpful. And it, there are many ways in which anger can lead to destructive behavior, but they're not the same thing. Anger is not destructive behavior or two different things. And anger is often energy that gives us strength to act or to all attention to something that is important to us that maybe we've compromised our standards on, or maybe something's wrong. That's going on. And that anger is assigned for that. Sadness is an energy that we discharge when we are healing and it's, there's beautiful sadness and sadness is also a reminder of love because when someone we love dies, it's good to feel sad because if we weren't sad when they are gone, that very likely means we didn't cherish them.

(28:35): But in fact, beautiful sadness in this way is a sign of love. It's a part and parcel of love and it signals deep feeling in love. And so sadness is a key emotion on the pathway to healing and sadness is also a gateway emotion to deeper growth fear drives the behaviors of a lot of, of our protector parts and all protectors within us are driven by fear. And until we uncover that fear where you don't really get to understand those parts of us fear can also be a warning of a potential danger. So there can be many important messages coming from paying attention to and staying with the emotions that are there, including fear, guilt, guilt is in a moral shame. It's a healthy kind of shame and guards are conscience. Joy, maybe this one was obvious. The joy is a good feeling, but it's important also to see what it's teaching us, because joy is an energy that comes when all of our needs are met and it's is also a sign that things are going well in a particular way.

(29:46): So they all have all these emotions. The ones that most people think were good, but also the ones that many people think are bad and that we shouldn't have them and purposely repress because they're considered to be painful. They all have something to, to show us and something to tell us. And they're all part of the experience of life and what people who are emotionally unskilled, what they consider to be emotional pain is a very unhelpful category. So I've heard this so many times and it's something that maybe will resonate with you that there's pain, there's pain. But if it's not physical pain, though, it may have physical manifestations, but the physical manifestations are different from the emotional pain, which often feels a lot more painful than anything. Anything that can happen physically because people will actually incur physical pain, like cutting in order to distract themselves from the emotional pain, the psychological pain.

(30:41): And I totally understand if you have rationally, there's never any pure rationality for human beings, but let's just go with the pure rational decision here of weighing the psychological pain that is ongoing versus the potential upside of any psychological happiness and decide on bowel that the pain outweighs any potential happiness, and then decide to end your life as a philosopher. I can understand theoretically how there might be a case such as that, for instance, if you were captured by an enemy force and you knew that they were just simply going to torture you. And if you were to confess secrets that might end up killing so many more people on your site or innocent people, it would be better to not have to undergo the pain of the torture only to give up a secret that would end up killing the people that you love.

(31:34): So you end your life. Now that scenario can hopefully be one that a lot of more people would just be able to see how that can agree with that, that that might be irrational to see. But I also understand for those who are on the verge of something like that in their lives, though, the external circumstances don't resemble the situation. I've just set up. But from the inside, it feels like that for them. And I get it. I've been there. I've been there multiple times and I get it when the pain feels overwhelming and there feels like there's no hope. And in brackets here, I always wanna say there are suicide hotlines in almost every country in the world. So if before you do anything, take action on a feeling like that or a decision like that, just give 'em a call. It's always free.

(32:16): And there's someone standing by to talk to you. And of course, if you still want to hang around, because you could always kill yourself tomorrow, maybe you should give it a shot of maybe there is something that is worth sticking around for. And maybe since you're about to just end it anyway, might as well start expressing how you feel, cuz you know, you got your hail Mary shot here and maybe find a professional to listen to you as you do this. And maybe there still is hope cuz you could always do it tomorrow. Okay. Just keep putting it off for one more day. One more minute, one more hour because you can't take it back. Assuming you succeed, you can't take it back. So you, you could always just end it and having said all of that, because this is a, I do wanna make it serious, but I don't wanna make it too serious.

(33:04): But I do have to put that as a kind of disclaimer there for anyone who's feeling close to that could always do it later. So hold off on it and maybe take another breath and consider this. So this is the point that just like in physical fitness, there are people for whom their workouts would be considered to be pain for someone who has not developed the endurance or strength or experience and have reframed what they're experiencing as pleasurable. And you might have experienced that in some other way in your life. I know some guys who are really in a math and when they first did math as kids, they could only do math for like an hour before their brain hurts or you know, their head hurts and they, their attention span was trashed and then they just kept doing it. And there's, if you just keep at it, you can actually increase your threshold of endurance on any given task so that you can take on more of it for longer periods of time and you can actually become stronger.

(34:04): That's how growing happens. And it's the same with emotions. What you're experiencing for many people that sadness or even the anger that you consider to be painful is something that when you have more facility with and strength and endurance with your emotions, it actually gets reframed as something pleasurable. I know that might sound perverse to some of you, but that's actually what happens for people who are emotionally wise. And that's something that was an incredible thing that happened for me over the past several years of a switch from a not liking or not even knowing how to contact for my deep inner child parts, not even being able to get in touch with it because it was repressed for so long and so deep beneath my consciousness that it would only come out for a few seconds at a time. And I had to catch those.

(34:54): And I even got a private method acting coach to help me do that and met plenty of other different types of coaches to really think can outside the boxier of traditional therapy until a few years later, it became a really pleasurable thing and a very cathartic experience and an empowering one of the power, the strength, the masculinity of compassion that there is there within the vulnerability and noticing that back then in my earlier life of a kind of more repressed masculinity, afraid of weakness and thinking that vulnerability is some kind of weakness and the fear actually actually really just fear being afraid of weakness. Ironically, there's a lot more strength in embracing it and it actually takes a tremendous amount of courage. And just to point, just to point you to the possibility that there might be a way in which if you were to approach it differently and to increase your endurance with the things that you think are painful.

(35:59): Now that if you look at it in a different way, it could be an immensely pleasurable thing. Not in so much pleasure probably is the wrong word, an intensely meaningful thing that can bring joy on the other side of it and growth and healing as a result, even in the face of tremendous someone you love dying in a horrific way. Totally makes sense to me, if the pain of having to live without them outweighs anything you could have in the future. And I get that and you might be tempted to end it, especially if it was within the past year and the statistics on widowhood show that that is likely the, to happen. Your chances of killing yourself, go or dying, not just killing yourself, but dying in whatever way goes up quite a lot, but just consider that if you just hold out for another year, things might get better or they might not.

(36:50): And you could always just, you know, off yourself, then things might get better and maybe you should stick around to see if they could. And what saying here is the science and just the common sense of it is if emotions are skills and no emotions are good or bad in and of themselves, then what you're feeling and interpreting as pain is actually a part of you that needs compassion. And if you can meet to the pain of the sadness of the grief with compassion from your higher self, and that will be such a cathartic, powerful experience for you, that it would outweigh any of the basic pleasures you had before in your life. And for those who've ever worked out or have gotten really good at something that they weren't that great at before, and they just stuck it with it. And it tipped you hit this tipping point where it became actually really pleasurable and you were looking forward to doing this, this activity.

(37:48): And for me, it was like working out at the gym. It's just basic stuff like lifting weights, the burn of even just things like dumbbell flies, you know, at the bottom of the fly and that kind of burning sensation in the chest. And now it just feels really good. And I miss it. If I don't get to the gym, I used to hate squats too, cuz it would just all the way from my head to my, my toes. I'd feel a kind of numb, I don't know, it's kind of redness. I don't know what, how to describe it. It was painful and it sucked. It didn't feel good for the first two, three years, years, but eventually it, the tipping point where I learned, I switched my mindset around it and now the feeling it's a familiar feeling that I miss when I don't get it.

(38:32): And I, these are by analogy because it's, I know it might even sound, what's the word, not so much disrespectful dismissive of your emotional pain. If I were to just suggest to you point blank, that there's a way to reinterpret it. So it's not painful. And in fact is cathartic, but that is in fact the case. So I get where you're coming from, but all those who are facing this emotional pain, there are no good or bad emotions in and of themselves. They're all signposts to something. And if you don't look where the signposts are pointing you to, you'll miss that lesson and that lesson might be worth sticking around for. And I'll tell you, I'm putting it lightly just in case. And if you are there and if you're there, I get it. But in case you're not there, obviously it will lead to something better if you follow it long enough, because it's already better.

(39:25): It's just the way you are approaching it. And seeing it is what is causing the suffering, right? Because it's not a physical pain that we're talking about and the emotional and psychological pain that many people are experiencing, I know is even greater than any physical pain that they might endure because they'd rather endure the physical pain. And that is actually one major way of suppression. A lot of achievers suppress emotions through physical pain, through physically beating up their bodies to numb themselves and get them used the numbing and they call it discipline and all they get out of it in the end is, well, they, they get a short burst of productivity, which they then get addicted to and they need more and more. And so then the physical pain that they need in order to operate like this just gets ratcheted up and up.

(40:14): But what they get in the end is emotional repression and a dulling of their lives and also an extreme exhaustion of their achiever parts. And so I've already hinted at point number two, actually, I've just said it already, that you can reinterpret any of these painful emotions if you have and develop the endurance, the emotional endurance for it. So I've actually got a course, a program called emotional mastery that has, and, and builds on major empirically verified types of therapy like D B T dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, C B T a CT obviously ifs and the whole thing's ifs informed. And I continue to add to it. So at, at the moment of this recording, it is still being built into and will continue to be built into an attitude over the course of months and years. There's a major set of modules on emotional endurance and it walks you through it and not just teaching you about the theory, but actually leading you through exercises to develop it.

(41:19): And other words for this type of endurance or resilience or tolerance, whatever word resonates with you, developing that strength, emotional strength. It's something that you can actually develop just like any other strength. And the third point quickly here is there is a way there is a way out. These are skills. You can learn them, you can improve in them. You can master them. There is a way to control your emotions. I know therapists don't like the word control when it comes to emotions. So other words that they do like, or like emotional emotional skill, being able to handle your emotions, manage your emotions. I don't like any of these words because as much as skill or control, because at the end of the day, you actually are able to increase the degree and frequency of emotions that you want to feel and decrease the ones that you don't want to feel.

(42:13): Now, after you develop enough emotional experience, you realize that there are actually no good or bad emotions and that you're not afraid of any of them, but that's for later. And that, that point may not stick so yet until you develop that level of experience. So just wanna point out no good or bad emotions, but even more for those who are just starting out on their journey of developing emotional skill, cuz it's not something that's taught at schools. You can go through your whole life. Many people go through the whole lives, not even knowing that this is something that they can get better at your emotions, the most fundamental thing in all of human experience. But to show that in fact, there is a way to develop these. You can improve with your emotions, your day, your skill with your emotions, so that you can increase the intensity and frequency in which you experience the good ones that you want to feel more of and have control over the ones you don't want to feel as often until you learn to appreciate them.

(43:09): And that there's a place for all of them. Okay. So I also wanted, just to recap, not just the three points of the first being, they're no good about emotions. The second being, you can develop them as an endurance and strength and the third being that these are skills that you can get better at. And the more you get better at them, the more control you have over your emotions. But I also want to remind you of the Cartesian error that we covered as well as the burdens, as example, and that emotions are everything up and the entire beginning and end of human experience and that emotions guide behavior and decision making all the way through. I discovered these all the hard way. As I mentioned, I was a, a very strongly rational cognitive type of person. Also to my detriment. I was not a whole lot of fun at parties in my twenties.

(43:54): I was always debating people cuz I was very in my head, very heady, very cognitive and almost disdain emotions. And this made it obviously difficult to generate attraction cuz attraction is an emotion. And only later in my thirties did I learn about emotions and I was focusing on very limited set of emotions, mostly around attraction and desire and that sort of thing. And that was a gateway into all of these other emotions that now I realize are what comprised life, a life, a rich life, a life well lived is a life of when you get to experience the whole range of emotions that you already are experiencing though, you may have repressed and suppressed some of them and you may not be aware of them or you might be afraid of a good many of them. And you might have a very one or unidimensional life, a limited life that many achievers who rely on repression are living.

(44:51): You do not want that life of repression. You do not want to get to the end, especially of a long life. Cuz then you've really wasted all of this time only to discover that there was all this love, joy, playfulness carefreeness and easygoing joy in life that was available and peace and calm that was available to you this entire time. Not a only when you achieve that goal, that your achiever has been working so hard for, but this entire time it was available to you only to realize that there is so little time left. Don't let that be. You take it seriously. Now at whatever point in life, you're listening to this, that emotions involve skills that you can get better at and therefore you can get this control over it. And when you have a life like that, your relationships go so much better.

(45:36): I mean, if you don't have even an emotional skill, your relationships are guaranteed to not go well. On top of that, your professional life probably won't go well unless you're a pure technician. And even then the whole thing up and down, remember the whole reason you're in that field in the first place, hopefully was because there was something you enjoyed about it. Enjoyment itself is an emotion. And if you spend most of your time, professional life doing something you don't enjoy, that's a huge tragedy. And if you're not even aware of it happening, then just mindlessly going about living a life just to make the ends meet. When in fact, even right now, all the calm, joy, peace, happiness is available to you in yourself. If you just knew and had the skills to be able to access it. So that's what this episode's about.

(46:25): I'm gonna be covering in the next episode, come back for the next episode. Cause I'll be walking you through some of the most important emotional skills. And if you like this episode, please share it with anyone you think would benefit from it. If you like this podcast, please give it a rating or a review on apple podcast that always helps. And let me know what you think about it in the comments I'd love to hear from you. Thank you so much for your support and for listening, I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode, David 10, signing out.

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