Episode Summary

In this episode, we did a Q and A session. Specifically we talked about the difference between confidence and arrogance, why human beings need to have emotions, and whether it makes sense to journal every single day if it starts to feel like a chore.

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The Best Way to Get Up To Speed Quickly

An excellent place to start if you want to learn the basics is the Emotional Embuffination book. In it, you'll findĀ a comprehensive walkthrough on how to resolve conflict and live your best life possible. It's available on Audible, print, or as an e-book.

Show Transcript

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Emotional Embuffination podcast. I am your host, David Enevoldsen, and here on Emotional Embuffination we are training to become emotionally buff enough to overcome any conflict in life, and at the same time we are trying to discover and optimize new levels of success and happiness. We’re trying to basically feel as much of those positive feelings as we can and minimize all the negative feels. This podcast is just one of a number of different resources I have available. If you want to learn more, check out the Emotional Embuffination website, which is embuff.com. That’s E-M-B-U-F-F.com. When you are on the website, make sure that you sign up for the newsletter which gives out quick weekly emotional embuffination tips that will help you to optimize all those good feelings. Like we said before, overcome conflict, all these different things that are the focus of Emotional Embuffination and we’re just giving out tips that are going to make sure that you are continuing on your journey as well armed as you possibly can be. Okay on today’s show, so this is going to be the last show for season two. I feel like this has just flown by because time flies when you’re having fun, right? So this is the last episode for season two, and we are going to be coming back for a season three. So if you like the show, which I hope you do, you’ll you’ll return with us when we are doing that.

But on today’s show, what I’m going to do is end each season at least this is my current patter, I’m going to end each season with the Q&A episode. And so I just want to hit a couple of questions. We actually have two questions from people. And then one that was more of a discussion that I was having with somebody that I thought would was so important that I’d bring it into the Q&A here. So the questions that we had are, I’m going to just frame them all as questions. The first one was, where is the line between arrogance and confidence? I’ll talk to you about why that’s relevant in just a minute. The second one, and this is the one that wasn’t exactly a question, but I’m just going to frame it as a question in terms of the conversation it came up in. Why do we have emotions? Wouldn’t it just be better if we were like robots and we didn’t have them? Because emotions sure do seem to cause a lot of problems. And then the third one was about journaling. So, you know, I’m a big advocate for journaling. We’ll talk about this more in just a second also. But the the question came in the terms of the person that I was that submitted, this question basically feels like it just becomes homework, like it becomes this chore that you have to do when you’re constantly journaling and that makes it really hard to do. So do I have suggestions on that? So those are going to be our three questions. Okay, let’s start with the first one. The line between arrogance and confidence. Where does that fall? Now, the reason this is relevant is in the book I kind of touch on this, so I have one of the chapters in the Emotional Embuffination book where I talk about self-love. And I think the thing that I advocate for in that chapter in the book and just generally as part of Emotional Embuffination, is that confidence is important. It changes a lot of things, like there’s various research showing that having some level of confidence even changes your internal biochemistry. So when you are feeling more confident like that alters the way that you feel, that alters the way that you interface with the world. I mean, it’s just generally is a good thing to be confident. It makes you feel like you can overcome problems and then you are more likely to overcome problems. The danger is when we start turning it into arrogance. Now, why is arrogance even a bad thing? You know, and I think that the line between these gets very confused a lot of times. But let’s circle back to why it’s a bad thing once we’ve explained what it is. Now, I’ve heard the distinction between these drawn in a number of different ways, so I’m just going to offer you my conclusion about where I think the line between confidence and arrogance falls.

So arrogance is sort of the opposite of confidence to a certain extent. So confidence is this belief that you have in yourself, that you have the ability to overcome obstacles, to do great things. You just believe in yourself and it makes it such that you can go tackle those problems in life. It permeates into your core when you have some level of confidence. Arrogance is the reciprocal. So, arrogance is actually coming from a place of insecurity. In the book, I talk a bit about people who are exhibiting false confidence. It’s a term that I’ve coined and false confidence is it looks on the outside like you’re confident. And this is why I think it’s so difficult to see from the outside when somebody is being arrogant versus confident because they look very similar if you don’t know what you’re hunting for. But false confidence is coming from this place of deep-seated insecurities. So one of the, well, let me let me elaborate on that. Deep down the person that is arrogant, the person that is insecure, doesn’t feel like they’re worth anything. And so they’re trying desperately to prove that they are. That’s very important for our egos. We have very fragile egos and we need to walk around convincing ourselves that we have value. And so the insecure person will do that. And when they do that, they come off as being arrogant if it’s manifesting as a the sort of confident-like behaviors. Let me give you some examples of these. And I describe these in the the chapter in the book where I talk about self-love and I’m talking about false confidence. Specifically, you know, here’s an example. The domestic violence situation where you have, let’s say, a very prototypical scenario. There’s an abusive husband who’s with a wife and he is constantly just talking down to her, saying, saying to her that she’s an idiot and she’s so stupid, why couldn’t she do this and that? On the outside, he looks like he’s confident. You know, he he might walk into a room and just be very loud and demand everybody pay attention to him. But if you break down why he’s exhibiting these behaviors, it’s because he’s learned when he was little that he can kind of swing his weight around and get his way. And so that then manifests as this behavior pattern in adulthood or even young adulthood that he needs to basically be abrasive. Now the insecurity manifests in the specific way in which he’s being loud and out in front of everybody else. So when you start seeing things like him telling his wife that she’s stupid, why is he saying that? Because the confident person doesn’t really need to, but deep down he doesn’t feel like he’s actually that smart. And so when he’s constantly saying, You’re so dumb.

I am smart. You just don’t understand this. Like he’s essentially trying to feed his own ego and say, “My wife is dumb. Therefore I am smart because I recognize that she is dumb.” Now that has a host of problems that go along with it, of course. But most people are not very conscious of the fact that this is what’s going on. And so that can pop up in a lot of different scenarios. But that arrogant person is really just deep down, they’re very insecure and they’re expressing behaviors that might otherwise seem like confidence. So to me, this is the distinction between confidence and arrogance, and that is to say that if the person is just truly inherently believing in themselves and their ability to overcome something, they don’t need to go around telling everybody about it. They don’t need to sit there and try to prove that somebody else is dumb or that they’re smarter than other people or better at things than other people. That’s really where it is. And so if you want to identify it, you’re either going to be identifying and identifying it in yourself or you’re going to be trying to identify it in someone else. If you’re trying to identify it in someone else, just listen to what they’re talking about because on the outside, it’s really hard to tell a lot of times, unless you’re looking for this. If the framework in which they are referencing things that they do or say or want to discuss is all about beating someone else up, beating someone else down.

The fact that they’re better at something than somebody else, the fact that somebody else is so dumb, then those things are coming from a place of insecurity. And there is so much insecurity out there, it’s really easy to spot. I mean, I remember when the Jerry Springer Show was still on, and I’m not by any stretch saying that I don’t have my insecurities or that I was not horribly insecure at this time, but I remember watching people who were super into that show and it just seemed to me that the whole reason they were into the show was that they could look at someone else and say, “Look at how dumb those people are. All these people are so dysfunctional. I’m not dysfunctional like that, but they’re so dysfunctional.” And it was this way of kind of self-reaffirming yourself as feeling better. That helps with our fragile egos, right? Well, that goes into the same kind of thing that the arrogance identifiers are. When when somebody is just really wrapped up in, and this is a spectrum, of course, you know, people are going to be more arrogant or less arrogant and this is going to fall all over the place. But when the dominant topic of discussion shifts into I’m better than someone else or someone else is so dumb or look at how I did this thing. All these other people couldn’t do that thing. Then I think we’re talking about arrogance. If they don’t need to do that and they’re just talking about the thing that they did in a vacuum or that they can do, or they don’t need to tell you that they can do things in the first place, they just do them, then that’s confidence. Where do you get the characterization of your wins? Now, if this is a little harder if we’re talking about looking inwardly because it’s always easier to see other people’s faults, right? And this again, this is another chapter in the book where I say there’s no log in my eye. We’ve got a lot of self-defense mechanisms in place, psychologically speaking, to prevent us from recognizing our own faults. But if you spend some time doing some deep, deep introspection and try to figure out what did it, how do you reference your wins? How do you reference the things that you’re talking about when you’re discussing something that you did with someone else? You’re talking about how much better than someone else you were? Are you talking about how stupid a bunch of other people are? If so you got to probably start working on your self-confidence and shift the potential for arrogance into self-confidence. That’s how I would distinguish these.

I would, now, let’s circle back to what I was talking about a second ago too. I do want to elaborate on why this matters, because you might even say, well, who cares if you’re arrogant? I mean, this this just kind of other people’s problems. Well, a couple of things. One is it it really alienates people. Like people do not like arrogant folks. I’ve had a lot of people. I’m just automatically repulsed. I know a lot of people are. When somebody just comes off very overbearing and just seems very arrogant and they’re just kind of talking about their wins like they’re better than you. Like, we immediately start to repel them. And if you’re alienating all the people around you and you automatically start to alienate new people, it’s going to make your life much harder to thrive in because the only way that you’re really going to win is by duping people or cheating people. And then that doesn’t really persist for a very long time because it catches up on you after a while. And that’s kind of a miserable way to live. The other thing is that there are so many psychological ramifications that spin out from insecurities. And so if at its core you are just deeply insecure, you’re just not going to feel good. There I remember when I first started working as an attorney, I would do trials and I would get into the trial and I, I know I sounded extremely confident, like I knew what I was talking about. And often I did. And I would just present myself in this way like I was super smart and other people there were just dumb if they weren’t taking my position and I think I was effective at it. But deep down I was freaking miserable. And that was kind of what started this whole Emotional Embuffination project in the first place, was that transition from that deeply messed up place into something where I feel genuinely happy the majority of the time now. If you are insecure, you are not like if you’re highly insecure, you are not doing yourself any favors. And so if you ignore your own arrogance, you’re going to be living in that unhappy state and all the negative ramifications that come, psychologically speaking, of living in that unhappy state.

Okay. So that’s our first question. Arrogance versus confidence. Second question we had and this came up more in a discussion that somebody was sort of commenting on it more. And I just sort of turned it into a question because I think it’s such an important topic. And this is one I actually touch on in the Emotional Embuffination book as well. I believe it was Chapter five of the book where I’m talking about emotions generally and kind of why we have them, how do they work? And so the underlying question was why do we have emotions? Like, wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t have them? And this is a really common plot device, I think, because people don’t truly understand what emotions are and how they function and how we function with emotions. I think what people tend to see is just sort of the extremes.

The I’m losing my mind. And I used to wonder this all the time when I was a family law attorney, especially when I was struggling with my own emotions, which again is what gave rise to this whole Emotional Embuffination project in the first place. But it’s a it’s a common plot device. You see this like I saw an old Doctor Who episode recently. It’s an old sci fi program if you’re not familiar with it. And in it there’s these what they call Cybermen and they’re like these robots that just basically want to delete humans and kill them off and turn humans into robots and take over the world, essentially. And so in this conversation that the protagonists are having with these robots, the robots are basically talking about how emotions are useless and a waste of time and they’re inefficient and how much more efficient they could be if they were robots. And so this argument ensues. And usually the things that I hear about this are, well, you can’t really appreciate the the splendor of existence.

You know, there’s all these beautiful things that you’d be missing out on if you didn’t have emotion. And while I appreciate that and I agree with that, I don’t think it really answers the underlying question. And that never satisfied me at all as to why on earth do we have these emotions. As I said, when I was doing family law work, everybody was making their situations worse, self included. Everybody was making their situation so much worse than they needed to be when they were going through these extreme emotions. And so I kept wondering, like, why do we have to have this? Like, why it felt like a curse to have emotions at all. And so I was really stumped by this for quite a while until I read a book by a an author named Antonio Damasio. And Damasio is a very fascinating guy. He wrote this book called Descartes’ Error. And in it, he describes a lot about the essentially the physiological underpinnings of emotion generally. And I’m going to read to you a little quote from my own book, which is referencing Damasio’s work. And this is describing a situation where Antonio Damasio was talking about a patient that he had. And so this patient. Well, let me read it to you. “The patient had damage to the ventromedial prefrontal area of his brain, causing problems with his ability to experience emotion. After a meeting with the patient, Damasio attempted to schedule another session. He offered two potential dates a few days apart from each other. The patient pulled out his calendar and then began contemplating the pros and cons of each of the two potential dates, including such things as other activities he had scheduled the location of his other appointments, the weather and a wide range of other possible factors that could impact the choice. Damasio and his staff watched as the process went on for half an hour.” Half an hour. “In Damasio’s words, ‘It took enormous discipline to listen to all this without pounding on the table and telling him to stop. But finally, we did tell him quietly that he should come on the second of the alternative dates, the patient calmly accepted that decision.'” So it’s kind of the end of that quote. The interesting thing about this is this guy who had damage to his brain that was stopping him from experiencing emotion was given this very, very simple, inconsequential choice about something that just really did not matter and he couldn’t make a decision. And this is really common when you have descriptors of people who have brain damage that eliminates their emotional states is they kind of get unraveled into these meaningless tasks. There’s a lot of reports of this, and Damasio talks about this in his book where he’s kind of studying different people who’ve had brain damage such that their emotional states are gone.

And it really illustrates the importance of emotion, because if we don’t have emotion, this is kind of the theme that’s coming out of this, we lose the ability to make decisions. The emotions are important because they tell us what matters and what doesn’t. The emotional rules that we generate internally guide us in the decision-making process. So we tend to think that if we were just computers and we could just kind of logic our way through everything, we would just be smooth sailing and we could do things very efficiently and we wouldn’t get caught up in these emotions. But really it’s kind of the opposite because we would get lost in endless calculation. You think about it, any little decision in your life requires a potentially endless analysis of all the possible permutations that could happen from this thing. You know, the example that I give in the book is, let’s say I’m a girl and some guy comes up to me and says, “Hey, I just broke up with your girlfriend. And I really have been wanting to date you,” and you’ve secretly had a crush on this guy. What do you do? And so in that you could just have this tons of different potential variables that impact your decision.

Like, does this mean that he’s like, no good because he just dumped my friend or is he just going to dump me? But I really like this guy. Am I going to harm the friendship with my friend? You know, what are other people going to think of me? Does that matter? You just get there’s this long series of questions and you get stuck on and you can just go on and on and on. And just like this guy in Antonio Damasio’s book that he’s describing about not being able to make a decision about which of two dates to pick where he’s going through and just doing this endless calculation of like, what’s the weather like? Well, how is this going to impact my schedule? You can’t make a decision because the analysis just never ends. Emotion brings guidance to all of that. So when you have emotion in play, you start creating these rules and you start telling yourself what’s worthy of calculation or not. You know, when you in this the situation with Damasio, you say, okay, well, this is obviously not that important an issue. It doesn’t really matter. That’s an emotional rule that’s coming out is this particular situation doesn’t mean that much. And so you just come to a quick conclusion. You can do the same thing with that other example I just gave about the the girl who’s got a guy approaching her and saying he wants to go out with her.

You can have a number of different potential rules and everybody’s going to generate different kind of emotional rules within them. But what if it was something like, well, friends don’t do that to friends. You know, I’m not going to try to steal my friend’s guy. End of analysis. Like it ends right there and you have an answer to your question. So emotions are these internal rules that our body has to just make really quick decisions and it aids in everything, every choice you make throughout the day, where you go, what you do, what you think is important, what’s not. It’s all over the place. Now, with as with every other mechanism on the planet, there is a danger with emotion in that it can go too far and cause problems. And so it just like everything else, I mean, you can have you need some salt to live, but if you have too much salt, you’re going to you could potentially die or you could disrupt all sorts of systems in your body. You can create blood pressure problems, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And so you have to be there is a balancing act here. And this is the scenario from, Damasio’s book. I talk about this in my book. I’m going to quote myself again here in just a second.

Gives us another great example of kind of the opposite extreme. So even though this guy who had brain damage wasn’t able to make basic decisions, he was, however, super calm in a crisis. And let me read you the example here. So another quote from my book. “Damasio describes an account that took place with the very same patient a day earlier, in which the patient described seeing a woman driving in front of him. When she realized she was on a patch of ice, she panicked, slammed on the brakes and promptly flew her car into a ditch. This woman, who suddenly became concerned about her car, her safety and damage to the other vehicles, allowed those concerns to send her into a panicky, emotional state. Seeing all this, the patient with no emotions calmly drove through the ice patch, didn’t panic and drove on without any problem.” So you can see there’s this contrast between somebody who has intact emotional emotions who’s just fine and then runs into this crisis where she’s freaking out because she doesn’t want to have damage to her car or she doesn’t want to get hurt. All of these things. And those are these internal rules that make her flip out. And that’s where we tend to focus, is the bad stuff that emotion seems to pop up. Now, of course, there are positives that come out of this as well in terms of enjoying the experience and the experiential components of the sublime and, you know, ecstasy, feeling good, etcetera.

Joy, you know, all those positive feelings. But if we didn’t have the underlying core emotions, we could not function. And what we see time and time again with people who have brain damage that prevents them from experiencing emotion, is that they don’t function. So bizarre because you really you have to have the emotions. And when you appreciate that, I think it really changes the perspective a lot because I used to resent emotions so deeply, I would get so upset, which is ironic because that’s a strong emotional state. I would get so upset at the fact that I was experiencing emotions at all. But you have to have them like you just don’t function if you don’t have them. And this idea, this sci fi idea that we’ve had that you can just have these robots that run around and can take over the world with their emotionless states, it’s just it can’t work like that. Like there have to be emotional rules in place in order to make decisions at all. That’s how we have come to be. That’s how we exist. That’s just how it is, unfortunately. And unless there’s some other thing out there that’s going to make it work, which I don’t know how you can do it without creating those rules, then we are, we have to learn to embrace those emotions.

Okay, that was our second question. So third question for today’s episode is, this is an interesting one, and I think it’s an important one also, I would love to journal, but it always feels like it just becomes homework. Do you have any suggestions on how to overcome that? Okay, this is a great, great point. So, if you’ve heard my story before, you’ve heard me talk about how much I am kind of enamored with the idea of journaling. I still journal regularly. I created a guided journal, which is very law of attraction oriented, and if you want to learn more about that, you can go to myrealitygenerator.com. You can check that out, but you don’t have to use that. You can just use a blank journal to write about thoughts, feelings, you know, give yourself questions, prompts, etcetera, etcetera. So I think journaling is amazing. And one of the things that I frequently advocate for is make it a routine, like get up in the morning and do some journaling or whatever. Um, pick a time in the day to like do it on a regular basis so that you don’t just drop it. But I think there’s a legit problem here and I’ve experienced this where you can suddenly just lose interest in it and then it just feels like this chore and it’s very tedious to have to journal. And when it comes to all the benefits that come of the journaling, if it feels like a chore, you start to really undercut some of that. So for example, I talk a lot about the law of Attraction. So My Reality Generator journal is very oriented to law of attraction principles and kind of what you want to manifest that way.

Well, think about the law of attraction. It’s very driven by emotion. If you are experiencing bored emotions, unhappy emotions like disgusted emotions, you are not tapped into the frequency you want to be tapped into in order to manifest the things that you want. You want to be excited, happy, joyful, positive, like feeling like bliss around the things that you’re going to be receiving, right? So if you’re bored by your journaling, you’re undercutting your efforts there in trying to manifest stuff. This also applies even if you just ignore the Law of Attraction stuff and you just want to speak psychologically and you’re trying to work through your own thoughts and feelings, if this is like this horrible, tedious experience, you’re just kind of subjecting yourself to torture every day. And so I don’t think you should be doing it at that point. But the counter danger to just saying, well, any time I feel bored is I’m just not going to do it, is that then all of a sudden you’re never doing it. And so you’re not getting the benefits that would come of journaling in a general sense. I advocate for kind of a balancing act between these two extremes, so I try to make it a routine as much as possible. And I say, okay, every day at this time or every weekday at this time, I’m going to do my journaling and my exception to that is once I start feeling like it is becoming homework, I will put it down and I’ll just leave it alone for like a week or two weeks or sometimes more. I’ve had sometimes like multi month stretches where I’m not journaling and then I just pick it back up again.

In fact the My Reality Generator journal that I have, I’ve intentionally labeled each day as like day one, day two, day three, day four. I didn’t say like Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday or first of the month and January and going on so forward. And the reason I did that was I wanted it such that if you missed a day or you just weren’t feeling it that day or something, you can basically just jump to the next day and pick it right back up where you were. And I still find myself doing that. So try to make it a routine, try to do something that’s going to get you the underlying benefits of it. But if it’s really becoming a chore, then put it down like just give it a rest for a little bit. And if that’s just a few days or a couple of weeks or whatever, that’s okay. Again, I’ve had times where there’s like several months that went and that that can actually be interesting because then when you go back and you’re journaling, like so much has changed since the last time that you wrote something that it sort of becomes exciting because you have all these new things to say. So, if it feels like homework, give it a rest for a little bit and come back to it. Now, if you just cannot get into journaling at all, I’m not saying everybody has to do journaling and there are some people I’ve talked to that just do not like to journal and that’s fine.

You know, that’s that’s not your thing. There’s a lot of other ways you can get the same kinds of benefits and we talk about some of those. It can be everything from meditation to just altering the trajectory of your thought processes by things like gratitude exercises and you can do martial arts. I mean, there’s so many different other possibilities. So if journaling doesn’t work for you at all, that’s fine. You don’t have to do journaling. But there are potentially, if you enjoy journaling at all at any level, try to make a routine and once it starts feeling like it’s painful to do it, put it down for a bit and then come back to it. Okay, So that covers our three questions for today’s episode. We’ve talked about arrogance versus confidence, the reasons that we have emotions, and what do you do when the journaling becomes routine? So that is going to bring us to a close for season two. Man this has just been a blur. I can’t believe that we’re already at the end of season two, here. Thank you all for, for listening on this. I will be back for season three. I continue to have fun with the podcasting and it has been, I feel grateful for all the people that have been supportive and have been listening. And if you’ve listened this far, obviously you’re listening.

So thank you very much. So we’ll be back. Until that time, I hope that you found today’s episode useful. I hope that there was something in here somewhere that you can take away to make your life just a little bit better. Do not forget to sign up for the newsletter on the Embuffination website, which is embuff.com. You can get all the weekly tips and any news and events updates that are going out. You’ll see it if you’re getting the newsletter. Remember keep working on this stuff. You know, just like when you work out a physical muscle, you don’t just go to the gym once and say, “Well, I did three curls, so my biceps are going to be huge for the rest of time.” You keep going, you make it part of your routine, right? Same thing with Emotional Embuffination. Keep working on it. Keep doing this stuff. Keep making yourself better, keep improving, keep studying how to feel good all the time. And man, it’s going to dramatically change your life. At the end of the day, I want you to be emotionally strong enough to go from saying things like, “The struggle is real,” to saying, “What struggle?” Thank you all for listening. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and this season. I will see you on the next season and the next episode. Until then, be happy and enjoy life.