"Regret is a common feeling that has both negative and positive effects," Sian Ferguson from the article "How to Move Past Regret." https://psychcentral.com/blog/a-powerful-exercise-for-moving-past-regret Tony talks about regret and rumination's roles in keeping people stuck in a trauma bond with a narcissist. 

And follow Tony on the Virtual Couch YouTube channel for a sneak preview of his upcoming podcast "Murder on the Couch," where True Crime meets therapy, co-hosted with his daughter Sydney. You can watch a pre-release clip here https://youtu.be/-RkRq8SrQy0

Subscribe to Tony's latest podcast, "Waking Up to Narcissism Q&A - Premium Podcast," on the Apple Podcast App. 


Go to http://tonyoverbay.com/workshop to sign up for Tony's "Magnetize Your Marriage" virtual workshop. The cost is only $19, and you'll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage. 

You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript, click here https://descript.com?lmref=bSWcEQ

Virtual Couch favorite and Tony's daughter, McKinley "Mackie" Overbay, joins the podcast to talk about some big changes happening in her life and how she has been able to do difficult, scary things despite having "all of the emotions." You can follow Mackie on Instagram @beautybymackie and mention the Virtual Couch Podcast for $10 off any service with Mackie. 

And follow Tony on the Virtual Couch YouTube channel to see a sneak preview of his upcoming podcast "Murder on the Couch," where True Crime meets therapy, co-hosted with his daughter Sydney. You can watch a pre-release clip here https://youtu.be/-RkRq8SrQy0

Subscribe to Tony's latest podcast, "Waking Up to Narcissism Q&A - Premium Podcast," on the Apple Podcast App. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/waking-up-to-narcissism-q-a/id1667287384

Go to http://tonyoverbay.com/workshop to sign up for Tony's "Magnetize Your Marriage" virtual workshop. The cost is only $19, and you'll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage. 

You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript, click here https://descript.com?lmref=bSWcEQ

New Mackie/Tony Transcript

Mackie: I'm sweaty already. 

Tony: Nervous and sweaty. And what's the Eminem lines? What? You only get one shot. Don't you know that one? You're nervous and sweaty. Mom, spaghetti. What about mom's spaghetti? Mom's spaghetti. But at some point he looks calm and ready. Doesn't he throw up mom's spaghetti at some time?

Mackie: Yeah, that's what it is. There's vomit on his sweater already. 

Tony: Okay. Do you feel like throwing up mom’s spaghetti? 

Mackie: No, I didn't have any spaghetti.

Tony: But you're just a little nervous sometimes. But you know what? That is okay to have emotions, speaking of that McKinley Overbay, welcome to the Virtual Couch.

Mackie: Thank you, Tony. 

Tony: This is so funny. When you guys call me my name, can I just tell you that? 

Mackie: I think it's so funny and so I do it every chance I can.

Tony: Thank you. Does it sound different if I call you McKinley versus Mackie? 

Mackie: Yeah, my brain kind of shuts off.

Tony: Well, same when you call me Tony. Okay. McKinley, are you ready for your record fifth time on the Virtual Couch? Hey, so to sound a little bit dramatic though, I think I had almost called this an emergency podcast recording, but that does sound too dramatic. But you are doing some life things, big, changing things, is that correct? Do you not like the phrase, I used to think this was hilarious, but now I think it was years and years ago, because somebody last week mentioned that they didn't like this phrase at all, but adulting. Are you tired of that one?

Mackie: Not tired of it. It is kind of silly, but it's also, how else do you describe it? 

Tony: Okay. Because I think this is the point. An adulting moment is that, don't you think? 

Mackie: Yeah. Yeah. I don't think there's any other way to describe it. 

Tony: Okay. Because Mackie, what are you doing?

Mackie: Adulting, being a full grown adult.

Tony: By opening your own salon. Your own suite. Okay, well, we'll get to that too. And so the dramatic part, and I tried to tamper that down a bit, was, I was gonna say the last time we recorded, you were venturing out and going and doing hard things. You graduated cosmetology school and that's a whole amazing episode in itself because we talked about how you had felt, even though we were the most supportive parents in the entire world, oh yeah. Ok. I dunno how I like that. But that you even felt like you still needed to do some college and we were saying, hey, go find your passion and then you graduate cosmetology school. You move out to Utah from Idaho and you go to work with somebody that had a pretty established salon and that was scary. And you had all the fears of what if you don't know what you're doing and what if nobody shows up, and what if you don't make any money? And all of those things. And now what are the new fears in starting your own suite or your own salon? 

Mackie: I mean, it kind of goes back to a lot of the same things. Which is funny, but in a different way. Because like, I’m still scared that I won't have clients or I won't be successful or, blah, blah, blah. But I have a little bit more experience now, and I know a little bit more and I know what I'm doing now. So that's good. 

Tony: I love that. That's why I think it is fascinating that you have similar thoughts. But they are, they're similar, yet different, because this last, I guess it's been about a year and a half where you've been working at Ivory, you've been working with and I only know, I always joke about knowing her Instagram name first and foremost, which was Meg Brown Balayage. But that isn't, I don't think Balayage is an official part of her name, is that right?

Mackie: Not that I'm aware of.

Tony: Okay. But you had an amazing experience there. Maybe talk about the last year and a half. What's that been like? 

Mackie: It's been, I mean, it's been great. It was definitely scary and I was pushed outta my comfort zone a lot. Then the last little bit, I feel like I was at the point where everything was good and I was comfortable, and I was just ready for the next thing, the next scary thing. 

Tony: Well, and Meg's been good about saying that, and I love this because I have an intern and the things where if you're doing it right, you want your intern to launch and grow and be successful. And so this was always the plan I would imagine. 

Mackie: Yeah. Ivory was supposed to be a stepping stone into my career. And so then I just recently then took that career leap. Yeah, that spooky leap. 

Tony: Very spooky, very scary. Hey, tell me if this even applies, but I often say “you don't know what you don't know”. Because you, how could you have known, what in hindsight, looking back over the last year and a half, are there things that you didn't even know, that you didn't know, that you learned that would be helpful to share with somebody else, or that are just some interesting things that you didn't anticipate about working with Meg and working in the industry in general?

Mackie: Yeah. I mean, I'm sure there are a million, but like, yeah, on the spot, nothing super specific comes to mind. But in general, that concept that you don't know what you don't know, I think it, I was just thrown into that so heavily because I realized going into this industry and everything, I knew nothing at the beginning, I knew nothing and I seriously said like the first week I was working with Meg full-time in an actual salon, I learned more than I had the last year and a half of being in school. Like just being thrown into the real experience and actually doing it. And so I feel like it is just one of those scary things where, and I was, I would imagine this applies to other careers too, where it's like you just have to do it. Even though it's scary and knowing that as you keep going, you'll continue to learn more and you'll become more comfortable and you can lean into it and it'll be a good thing. But I definitely, yeah, I didn't know anything about the industry, and I think that's normal for certain things. The best way to learn is to just do it.

Tony: It really is. Because even as you're about to go into this new experience, and maybe I'm jumping too far ahead and we can go back, but all the things you had to learn with setting up your business and insurance and business expenses, a business name, all those things, you've just had to figure it out.

Mackie: Lots of things that, again, I just didn't know and there's still, I literally saw a TikTok today of someone who had just opened up a suite like I did, and she was like, okay, number one thing you have to do, get an accountant right off the bat. And I was just sitting there going, I don't have one. And then immediately going into panic mode, adding that to my list and being like, okay, there's another thing I have to pay for and another thing I have to deal with and so it is just that, yeah, just trying to figure out all the things and learning without becoming discouraged and getting too afraid or giving up, you know, which is scary, but again, all those are, the best way to do it.

Tony: I think anticipating now or having the emotional maturity to know that, how could I have known that? And so don't beat myself up about it, and then just be open to whatever that new experience is. 

Mackie: Just add it to the list and be like, I've done all these other things. I can do that one too. But yeah, lots of scary business things and I'm just like a silly little girl and I don't, I don't know anything. 

Tony: But yet, you do Mackie. 

Mackie: But I'm learning.

Tony: Hey I love the story too where you, when you told Meg that you were ready to venture out on your own, because I think this so well illustrates how we can have all these emotions and feelings, even to the point of letting those feelings out, if you know what I'm saying, and then still be able to go through with a scary thing. So tell us that story, 

Mackie: That's such a fun story. No, it's funny, I just, I was a little anxious and I was a little nervous to talk to my boss and so I went to work that morning and I just threw up a little bit because I was scared. Just quick, you know, whatever. No big deal. Did that, went back, gave my boss a quick call. I was like, you know, I think I need to talk to you before something worse happens. So that was, yeah, that was intense. But you know what? I did it and it was okay, and I only threw up the one.

Tony: Which is amazing. Yeah. And, when your mother, we will call her Wendy now that we're using all the formal names, when she was telling me the story about it, I think that day I had said, hey did you hear from Mac? Did she end up telling Megan? And Wendy said, yeah, she did. And she was so nervous she threw up. And I, it's funny because immediately I'm already thinking, oh man. And then that means she didn't tell her and I feel so bad, I think I'm probably pulling up my phone to send you a text. Or, hey, how are you? And then she said, and then she told her and Meg was amazing and it was awesome. And that happened.

Mackie: Nothing to be afraid of. But I think that's a whole thing in itself about life right there.

Tony: It really is. 

Mackie: You just kinda have to do the things and it usually ends up okay. 

Tony: And I love that because I feel like that's been a process for you to acknowledge that, okay, here's the anxiety and I can feel it and I can get frustrated with it. But then it seems like very much very often you then still follow through with whatever you feel like you need to. Has that been a hard thing?

Mackie: Yeah. It's a hard thing and it's something that I deal with every single day, like with my anxiety. That just, every time I have to do anything really, it's like I feel that anxiety and I panic and I think I'm gonna die, or, something horrible is gonna happen. It's gonna be the end of the world. And then so far up to this point, which is something you like to rub in my face all the time, nothing bad has happened. I always say with my anxiety, I say things like, I think I'm gonna throw up or I'm gonna pass out. And you always go, okay, but have you ever? 

Tony: I say it really nice though, right? 

Mackie: Yeah. You really do. You say it's so nice. No, but you really because I'll say, I think I'm gonna pass out. And then you go, have you ever passed out from your anxiety? And then I go, no, and then you just roast me.

Tony: Okay. Very well. Okay. This is funny though. I think that you were telling me maybe it was a psychiatrist or something at one point that had even talked about, okay, in heaven forbid, if you do pass out your body is basically saying, hey, I can't, you're freaking me out, so I just need to breathe, so I'm gonna tap you out for a little while so I can just be on my own.

Mackie: It's one of the most comforting things I think with anxiety. For anyone out there that's super anxious, worst case you pass out, your body does a quick little reset and people even say passing out's kind of euphoric and you just kind of, you know, whatever. And then you come too and you're breathing normal again and everything's fine. 

Tony: Okay. Here's the one that I sound, here's where I probably don't sound as sensitive, Mackie. I think when you'll say things like, I don't feel like I can breathe. I think sometimes I think I'm hilarious when I say, hey, you've been good at it your whole life. I'm telling you right now.

Mackie: You say that to me all the time and I feel like I'm dying in those moments. And then you say that to me and I'm so mad. But you're right.

Tony: Oh, that makes me laugh so much. Now, I'm, now I feel like I'm almost trying to pull things out of you, but I think when we were talking about this just offhand one time, there was also a concept that you had mentioned that had to do with a particular time frame of seconds that were not 15 seconds, but? 

Mackie: Not 25 seconds.

Tony: That's it. No, but 20 seconds. Yes, Mackie. Oh, what was that about? Tell me what you were telling me about the 20 second thing. Because this one, I really have thought about this a lot. 

Mackie: Yeah. This is one thing that's always stuck with me also in terms of anxiety, but I think when we were initially talking about it, it was in terms of when I decided to sign for my suite and go through with it and just decide to quit my job and do this big scary thing is like I do this thing and it's, it's, you looked it up. It's from a, a dumb movie or something, 

Tony: Hey, this is the best. Wait real quick, this story. So it's 20 seconds of insane courage. And then Alex, I was talking to her about it and she said that, yes, she didn't even, I think, realize it was from a movie. I found the movie, it's, “We Bought a Zoo”.

Mackie: I didn't know that either. 

Tony: Yeah, but she said apparently it was Alex and her friends. Well, and it was this legendary or urban legend example of some people that were spying on a kid that had went up to a doorstep situation to kiss a girl. And apparently he didn't kiss her. But then walking away, he just said something like, 20 seconds of insane courage, you know? And then that was then made fun of, I think, for a while. But yeah, it's from the movie. “We Bought a Zoo”. And I don't really know the context there, but tell me what it means to you. 

Mackie: I just think I do this in terms, whether it's job interviews or dates or making big scary decisions, or like whatever it is, it's just the concept that you can do, I mean, you can do anything for 20 seconds, like anything in the whole world you can do for 20 seconds and you'll be just fine. But also just the fact of like those big decisions and those, the big scary part, like the, at the height of my anxious moments, usually if I can just get through the initial whatever it is, I end up being fine. Usually it's more 10, 15 minutes realistically. But it's just the concept that, like for example, if I'm going on a date, it's just getting out the door. Because it's the, when I'm in my apartment, I'm freaking out and I'm like, I can't breathe. And I'm like, I can't go. I'm gonna die, like all this stuff. But then I get out the door, I realize, oh, you're okay. Like you're actually fine. And then the date's usually fine and it's whatever. So it's just that concept of you just you just have to kind of shut your brain off, just for a second, do the thing and then feel the other things later. But in a nice, positive way. Because I feel like it can kind of sound dumb because in terms of, I'm like, yeah, I signed this year lease for my suite and I just shut my brain off to do it. That makes it sound kind of dumb. But if you look at it in a different way, then it's like, okay, instead of leaning into the fears and the anxiety of taking the leap to do this big, scary independent career thing, it's like I didn’t even let myself even think about the scary things. And I had done research prior, I had, you know, crunched the numbers and done it's, you know, yeah. Knew it was a, it would be a good thing. I knew what my budget was, I knew all the good things, but then in that moment just had to say, okay, we're not even gonna think about failing or any of the potential scary things and just going to say, yeah, I'll do it. I'll sign it. Give me the paper. And then you just sign it. And then after. I like called Wendy and I was like, I was like, was that stupid? 

Tony: At that point you want, all you want is validation at that point, right? So at that point it's like, it is not stupid, it’s wonderful. 

Mackie: You don't tell me stupid. But no, and then she reassured me like, no, you knew your numbers, you knew what you could take. Like you knew what you were capable of signing for it. So everything's good and this is what you want and whatever. But all goes back to that, just sometimes you just have to be strong and courageous and have no anxiety for 20 seconds and then you can go back to feeling all your scary feelings. 

Tony: I love it. I can frame that from a psychology standpoint. You know, my favorite acceptance and commitment therapy, there's a researcher I had on Michael Twohig that said, “Happy healthy people spend 80% of their time doing things that are important, not things that are fun necessarily, but things that are important.” And then it was the unhealthy, unhappy people spend 80% of their time, in essence, trying to just seek joyous activities or avoid discomfort. And so, you did things that were important to you and then you can sit back and I say watch the “Yeah, Buts”. The yeah, but what if it doesn't work? And yeah, but it's scary and yeah, but I've never done it before. And all those may be true, but those are not productive thoughts when you're gathering up those 20 seconds of insane courage to do something that you already know matters to you. This is the direction I wanna go. 

Mackie: You know it's a good thing. And it's like you just, it just comes down to like, okay. 

Tony: Yeah, so like if I were to do 20 seconds, if I did 20 seconds of insane courage to eat a ghost pepper Mackie, because you know how my heat meter is, that would be the dumbest thing that I could ever do in my whole life. That or a warhead. 

Mackie: Exactly. So there are things I mean, you can add a million things you maybe shouldn't just, I don't know, get a tattoo in 20 seconds, or there's things that maybe think about it for at least, at least like 10 minutes.

Tony: Okay, is that what it is? 

Mackie: I don’t know the real rules, but you know, that's right. Not everything's gonna be 20 seconds. 

Tony: But as long as it says pa and not ma, or I love pa, then that's okay. 

Mackie: No, as long as you don't forget to think things through. Have plans a little bit, but just also don't let the whole point just, don't let the scary, anxious stuff take over.

Tony: I love it. You mentioned plans. Can we talk about this is one that I feel like will be, I'm so convinced that this, I know I am leading the witness, I am confirmation biasing, I am doing all these things. And so I want you to tell me “back off, old man”, or “it's not that easy”, or those sorts of things. And you may know where I'm going here next, but, so here's that part where, you know, plans, this wasn't your initial plan as a somewhere between 21 and 24 year old human being that you are right now. But I almost feel like who wants to go first? Do you wanna talk about what your plan was or do you want me to tell everybody why I was right? And then you agree with me? Which one? No, you tell me about where you kind of anticipated things at this point? 

Mackie: I really, and I mean, I can blame you and Wendy for part of this because you guys got married when you were 10, and like so did and so did all my friends and whatever.

Tony: Oh that's loud. Sorry for Alex editing the video, that probably just blew her eardrums out. Okay, we were not 10.

Mackie: Whatever you basically were, you might as well have been. You round it up, it's the same thing. But anyways, I just genuinely thought I'd be married by now, which I know is so young and I know it's kind of silly to be like, I am young and that's silly, but full, complete honesty. I really did think that I would, I would be one of those people that went off to college and in my first couple of semesters, meet somebody and then stop going to college and then just got to go be a mom. 

Tony: So get your MRS degree. Am I right? Lemme get that joke in there. That one used to make me laugh is that one's super offensive. 

Mackie: But no, I really did just, and I was like, I thought that was the dream and that was exactly what I wanted. And then all of a sudden I was 20 and I still wasn't married and then I was 21 and then I was 22, and now I'm 23 and I'm not even close. Not even, you know, not even, yeah. Nothing. Nothing coming up. So anyways, so I just thought I'd be married and get to be a mom because that is really what I want.

Tony: And you will be amazing. You'll be amazing at that.

Mackie: It'll be, it's slightly my calling in life to be a mom, I'd say. But sometimes life doesn't always go the way that you planned, well, it never does basically. Never you know, whatever. Yeah. All the things you plan. So that has not been the way that my life is gone, and I always just thought I'd be a mom and then I could do like hair or something with the beauty industry, like kind of on the side, like out of my house or something where it was just, I could choose a day or two here and there and do something that I knew I could be passionate about, but I never thought that I would have to, or I never saw myself being an entrepreneur, like a career woman or a boss lady, or, you know, anything like that. And I just didn't really have any interest in it. And I didn't, I just figured like, oh, I won't need to do that. It just won't be a thing. And then, naturally my life has not gone exactly how I planned it out in my head when I was like 14 or whatever. And I've had to then make this shift of still keeping my goals and my dreams, but then also healthily leaning into something that I know I'm passionate about. Which is all the hair stuff and the beauty industry. And I don't know, it's, yeah, it's been a weird thing, but it's been strange. The best thing that could happen, in a weird way, which is, this is kind of where it starts to become where you're right and whatever. 

Tony: Wait, wait, hold on, hold on. 

Mackie: No, I didn’t say anything.

Tony: I think I heard. I think it cut out. What'd you say? 

Mackie: No, nothing. 

Tony: Oh, I will, I will replay that clip over and over.

Mackie: Whatever. Whatever. But it is the thing that I've learned so much about myself and I've had this opportunity to learn more about who I am, who I want to be, what I want out of life, what I can offer to others, just so many things that I wouldn't have necessarily had the opportunity had my life gone the way that initially thought it would.

Tony: And can I go on a little soapbox rant here for a second? Because I feel like this is where, and it's so interesting because had you gotten married at 10 or 11, like your mother and I, which by the way, I think I was 19, almost 20, and she was 18, almost 19. So very much older than 10. But it was interesting because well, we thought we, you know, we thought we were so old and this is where anybody listening that is already married or young, of course, I'm not saying, wait, you need to break up right now. That's silly, right? Because for some people it works and it's great. But I do, I honestly, and I will speak about this with such passion, but I feel like as a marriage therapist, 1300 couples into this thing, that no one, no, absolutely no one knows what they don't know about relationships. They don't have the tools to communicate effectively. And I do, I call it the crapshoot theory. And your mom and I got lucky that we happen to just like a lot of the similar things and things seem fairly easy. And so then, you know, it isn't until later in your relationship where all of a sudden you start to deal with difficult things and you like each other so it's a little bit easier to work through. So it ends up being okay, but yeah, if there's a lot, yeah. But I'm convinced that, you know, it should be 25 or 30 or something and this is where I know it's gonna sound like I'm saying it just because you're my daughter, but I would say this to anybody, but when people are spending their 19, 20, 21 trying to figure out who they need to be in order to try to keep a relationship or get a relationship that they're not learning who they are.

And so, you have slowly but surely been finding out who you are as you learn to do the things that you like to do and you're really good at. Because I know we haven't even talked about all the opportunities you have to basically be a therapist in a chair. I wanna talk about that and we were talking about when we were kind of doing a little pre-interview, but the stuff where I want to ask you in a minute about why you like doing things like color and just getting to see the change in people. And there are so many things I had no idea that really was behind what you're doing. That I feel like that raises your emotional, emotional baseline really and so you are this different person now and I feel like you're putting yourself now, you're a stronger, more confident person that will now show up in a relationship versus trying to figure out who do I need to be?

Mackie: Well, I, no, I just think because it wasn't, it was something I knew I could be passionate about, but I don't even think I knew, like I didn't, I didn't know what I didn't know. And I didn't realize that that was even, I didn't know what that even meant because I'd hear people say, you gotta find something you're passionate about and whatever. And at the time I'm like, well, I like makeup. And so in my head I was like, I could be passionate about that. I could like it, but I didn't know what that would feel like and what that would look like and how incredible it is to actually be passionate about something and to yeah, get to do it every single day and live like that. And then, yeah, as I'm young and I'm learning and I'm growing and I'm finding out more about myself, it's like I'm able to do that through this thing that I'm passionate about, if that makes any sense. And it's just this kind of unreal experience when I step back and look at it because it is, this is my job. All these amazing things are happening, but it's my job. 

Tony: Tell me about, like, you were telling cool stories about when I was asking about what do you like about the things you do now? And of course I literally sometimes think back to when I used to get my haircut, which was literally 20 years ago and it's, you know, you're doing all kinds of color and extensions and you're spending hours with people, and so talk about that. What are you seeing and doing and what is that part where now you feel like, oh man, I love this. What all is that? 

Mackie: Yeah, I mean, there's, there's so much to it because I think initially it was just, I just didn't know what went into it. Like, you know, in school and everything. I was just like, okay, I don't really get what I'm doing here, but there's so many sides to doing hair that I don’t think people even realize, just from a technical standpoint, there's science to it, and there's like all this, color wheel and canceling things, and there's pH balances and there's like just all this stuff that you don't really think about that factors into it. So you're doing all this like science.

Tony: Because one could do damage, right? I mean, you could damage, do some damage. 

Mackie: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. Like fry people's hair off. There's scary things that can happen. So it's like you're doing all this scientific, but then it's also this really artistic creative outlet and I've always been someone who's been fairly artistic throughout my life. That's always been kind of an outlet of mine. 

Tony: Well, can I pause right there, Mac? I don't like, I hate to feel like, I feel like I'm talking over you, but it's like that's the part I didn't even understand the depth of that because I mean, the things like the way you blend things and the looks and then the somebody's head shaped and all the stuff you were telling me about. And I go back to you know, you, you taught yourself music, you taught yourself piano and how to sing and you draw and I mean, poetry, all those things that you've just done that I never realized that creativity or that creative outlet could then be expressed in somebody's whole countenance and appearance. That blows my mind when you talk about that. 

Mackie: Right. And like, same with the makeup and all that. So it's this thing that I've always been low key really passionate about in my life. I've been able to make a career out of it because there is this artistic side and I do just get to zone out and do this thing that I love and I get to channel that creativity. Which is just so fun. But then I'm also doing this technical scientific stuff, which is also fun in a nerdy way. So that's cool. But then on top of all of, I guess two things, I get to make these connections with people that I don't think you, obviously there's a million careers that you get to make connections with people, but there's something different about this career that, and the connections that can be made because it is this kind of vulnerable one-on-one setting, which is kind of weird, but then it's casual. It's so casual and it's so, I mean, people open up and people are just themselves. And again, it's just vulnerable and it's, and so it's like I get to really connect with people in ways that I didn't think would ever happen. I never really thought going into it, like I didn't think about the conversations that I would have and the things I would learn about people or any of that stuff. It never crossed my mind. And then it's all day, every day I'm spending hours with individuals and I get to see them for exactly who they are, and I get to love them and I get to know them and I get to know all this stuff. And so that's a whole amazing thing in itself. So I listen a lot and there is an aspect of it that sometimes feels a little therapy-like, obviously an amateur and it's mediocre therapy that I'd be giving.

Tony: People just wanna be heard though, man, they wanna be heard and they're in this position of vulnerability. I'm not sitting there also holding someone's potential look in my hands as well as you are. So that’s powerful.

Mackie: And so it is just, there's this different side of it there that is just amazing though. And I think it's like you just become friends with everyone you get to interact with. And it's just a positive space. And I don't know, there's just something about it and about those connections that again, I just didn't think would be a part of this career. I thought I'd just be slapping color on people's hair and sending them on their way and like, yeah, none of this personal connection part. And then there's also just this, you get to see, I mean, there's always a big reveal at the end, right? 

Tony: And I never thought about this. What is that like? 

Mackie: Because like I put in hours of work and I've done all this science and art and all this stuff, and then I get to see it come to life. And then I also get to see people's reaction to my hard work, which is fun. It's always fun to feel validated about your own work. But it's also just this cool thing where I do get to see people's confidence shift, or I get to see people kind of feel like themselves again, or just all these little things. Maybe to someone, no offense with no hair, wouldn't really understand. 

Tony: I wish I had it, Mackie. I think that could be fun. A different look.

Mackie: Where it's like, because some people, their hair doesn't mean a whole lot to them, but other people it's, it's really important and it is this really special moment for them and it's their self-care time and it's their time that they get to just take for themselves. The thing I feel like I say the most is anytime anyone apologizes if they're busy or on their phone or I'm always like, it's your time. You do whatever you want. And if they wanna be silent the whole time, they get to be silent. If we just wanna turn up the music, we turn up the music if they wanna talk, like it's, yeah, it's whatever they need. And I get to be the person who advocates that. And I don't know, it's just really special, which I noticed. Some people, they're probably just like, it's just hair. Even people that get their hair done, to some of them, they're just like, it's hair, it's just an appointment, whatever. But there are those really just amazing moments within it and it is just something that I feel like I've got, I've come to be so much more passionate about than I even thought was possible.

Tony: Yeah. No, I love everything about you. No, that was so good, Mac. And I feel like if anybody is listening right now, maybe this is the sneak, sneak sneak preview too. We've been talking about even creating a tiny little workshop around the therapy of the hair chair and that sort of thing. And Mackie and I are at some point we're, we've got some we're laying out the bones of a little course that we wanna put together because I think about that, even what you were talking about there is even if somebody says, I want you, I want your people to be able to, even if they don't necessarily think it's exactly what they want, what an opportunity, because I think this is times where sometimes people don't even really know what they want or what they like, and they are almost probably saying, okay, make me beautiful and probably, I don't know, 90% of the time you do, and that other 10%, then what a time for them to say, okay, yeah, I really didn't even know. So what is it I like about this or don't like about this? And so, in the world of therapy, a lot of times when people say, I don't even know what I want to do, and that's even just a story their brain will hook them to, because in reality, then start doing. And now we'll figure out, okay, I like that. I don't like that. And I was thinking about that with hair. I mean, even if somebody is like, okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go in and self care and I'm gonna do something with my hair. And then I want them to be able to be honest and say, okay, I like some of this. And maybe not all of this because at least now, now they're starting to think. So I think that's, I don't know if I'm even making sense there to a professional.

Mackie: No, you totally are. And yeah, I love my clients that will just be honest with me. You know, they can, and we can have those kinds of tough conversations, kind of a, I didn't like this, but I like this, or we want this and I didn't, you know, whatever. And it's like you do kind of have those conversations which are uncomfortable at times, but good for me in terms of I get to grow.

Tony: I love that, honestly. And this is where, I feel like it's almost like everybody now that the mental health stigma is lessening that your therapist becomes part of your, I don't know, your life and I wanna think your hairstylist or cosmetologist does as well. And that then because they get to know you so well, that then they can say, man, yeah, I don't know what it is about this one that I, I like this or not this or, and feel safe enough. I mean, then that's where I start getting all therapist about it, where you feel safe that you can be open and vulnerable with another human being, because that's where we're so afraid of contention that I think people won't even, won't even bring something up. They'll just go somewhere else. Well, it'll be better over here with somebody else, but in reality, tension is where it’s like, no, we can talk about it. Yeah, talk's, that's a big boy principle right there. That really is. So that's where I feel like, oh, Mackie, you just wait. You've got all the tools and we're gonna solve the world's problems. And I'll take the therapy angle. You got the hair angle, we'll meet in, somewhere in the middle. So with that said and I really appreciate that too, the science part, the creativity part, but you're also nervous and this is a brand new opportunity and so this is where it will sound like the world's biggest commercial and I kind of don't care because I want people to go and see you. So how do they find you at this point? Is that scary? Like how do you get the word out? What do you do? 

Mackie: Yeah. That it's all like social media these days, which I don't know how to do that. Yeah. But no, I just, I have an Instagram. It's Beauty by Mackie.And I'll link all these things under the booking. Or you can message me, whatever. But that's how to find me.

Tony: Okay. And then your place, and I like this too, tell me if this is too much, but you, this is the stuff I've been proud as a father to watch you create the environment that you want to create because you have a very specific, what, a vision of what your salon, your suite will feel like or be. What is that?  

Mackie: My favorite place in the whole world is my bed. That is just where I feel safest. It's whatever. Yes. I know. Crazy. So I just really want that to translate to my suite and my space, and I want it to just be cozy and safe. Like those are kinda my two initial words that I was like, okay, cozy and safe and just really like a safe haven. Like a little, what my bedroom feels like to me. I want that space, and I want it to be a space that clients coming in just to come into and put everything else aside and just get whatever they need out of it. Whether that's, again, sitting in silence and just having a minute to themselves, or talking about all the crazy things in the world, or talking about the heavy things or whatever. It's like I just, I want it to be cozy and safe, and I wanna be able to be whatever they need me to be in that moment to get them what they need and let it just be this good positive thing in their life. Even if it's just this one small thing, a couple hours every, however long I just, yeah. Cozy and safe.

Tony: I forgot also, you are doing different certifications and hollow needle piercing, which sounded scary. And I remember the first time that you called home after that and you said there was real blood involved and things like that, not in a scary way. 

Mackie: No, no. But there was blood. Yeah, so I did get certified in piercings and I plan on getting certified in other things I think later on. But it's just a, it's another fun little thing and it's fun for me to do cause it's like a weird little adrenaline rush to be the piercer. But then it's also, again, just this other, it's just another thing for people to come in and be like, oh, I wanna get a piercing and it's this fun thing for them. And it's like another way to express themselves or have a fun little thing that's just for them. And just another fun thing. 

Tony: When you were at home and maybe doing some of those things, very very safe and very clean, of course. But I loved nothing more than slow motion videoing the person's as the needle went through their ear. And every, I promise, every single time though it was there, the anticipation was so scary. But then it seems like the thing happened and that it was routinely met with a, oh, is that, was that it? And I think that was hilarious. I got to the point where I thought that was really funny to see. So I don't know. I can't imagine what that feels like for you. 

Mackie: It's funny, but that just went full circle back to what we were talking about at the beginning. Things seem really scary at first. And then you do it. And it's not that bad. 

Tony: I feel like that should be a mic drop moment and we just end. That's true. Interesting. Hey, so, but I do also okay. I just have to be very transparent and we had a, I thought, a hilarious conversation when we were talking before, and I was saying, okay, Mackie, you were as gracious to say that if somebody mentions the podcast, you're gonna do what? $10 off. Yeah. Which I think is great. And then I said Mac, oh I think the Virtual Couch wants to pay for the first person who comes and does like a full whatever they need to do, let the Virtual Couch pay for it. And, if I remember correctly, and I don't know if you start it with old man, when's, when's the last time you got your haircut? And I said 2003. And it was by George the barber and literally rest in peace. What a great guy he was. And he was kind and he would, he would move his scissors above my head. I know he wasn't cutting anything and kind of just move his hands through it a little bit. And I thought, oh, bless his heart, he's making me get my $12 worth. And so then I realized that's probably not what we're talking about here. 

Mackie: It has been 20 years since you got that haircut.

Tony: And it was a comb over haircut. Like, it wasn't a haircut, it was like a hair. I don't even know. I don't even, I can't even come up with something funny. Yeah, just a little messing around up there. A little bit silly. Yeah I don't, I know it can be a very expensive process, so then I, but I still told Mackie the first person who does a bigger thing there, I would love to take half of it as a Virtual Couch discount. Where are you located? 

Mackie: I'm located in Orem, Utah. That would help, Utah County for anyone. 

Tony: I love the concepts around trivia. And so the first Virtual Couch client to go to Mackie and then get something done, then we wanna document that on social media and that will forever be in the archives. So somebody there can reach out to you as well. And then it has to be somebody that you've never seen and they want, they, they've reached out cause they heard you on the podcast. I think that sounds fun too. Yeah. Okay. I'm impressed. I really am not just as your father but also as the fact that, holy cow, for some of the things that you've come on in the past and we talked about depression, we talked about some anxiety, we talked about fear and scary things and a lot of people, when I go look at those episodes, and I'm not just saying this because you're here and you're my daughter but I mean, I think I was sharing them with you. I mean, a couple, one or two of them are definitely in the top 20 of all time downloads, one's in the top 10, and that people really have resonated with your honesty and your vulnerability. And so here you are doing scary things and doing things that you didn't anticipate doing at this point in your life. And you're being so honest about not saying, oh yeah, anxiety gone, done. Don't even see it around anymore. Potentially even worse. 

Mackie: No, it’s terrible.

Tony: But then still be able to do these things. 

Mackie: You do it scared. Do it scared and that's okay. 

Tony: Proud, proud of you. Love you. What an impressive human being. This is exciting stuff. Thank you. So, I can't wait. We'll have you back on in a little while and just see how things are going. Sounds good. 

Tony is the interviewee on Michaela Renee Johnson's "Be You Find Happy" podcast. From the show notes on Michaela's episode, "Ha, got your attention. If you're asking yourself that you're probably not, but you might be in a relationship with someone who is "less emotionally mature." It seems narcissism is on the rise but is it? More and more people are waking up to toxic relationships no doubt and leaving one of these relationships in the words of Doctor Ramani is like "hugging a porcupine, you've got to do it carefully."

In this episode, you'll get to meet Tony Overbay, a marriage and family therapist who helps couples and families who are Waking Up To Narcissism (podcast) and the Virtual Couch (podcast). You'll walk away with insights and tangible tips on how to move forward in this."

If you are interested in being coached in Tony's upcoming "Magnetic Marriage Podcast," please email him for more information. You will receive free marriage coaching and remain anonymous when the episode airs. 

Go to http://tonyoverbay.com/workshop to sign up for Tony's "Magnetize Your Marriage" virtual workshop. The cost is only $19, and you'll learn the top 3 things you can do NOW to create a Magnetic Marriage. 

You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program, The Path Back, by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript, click here https://descript.com?lmref=bSWcEQ


#1- “When a healthy, emotionally mature person like you in this scenario is now able to do, and be, and grow, and flourish, guess who now can also give their kid a secure attachment and external validation? It's the healthy parent.” -Tony

#2- “It's really interesting to see how people think they're doing something for the kids, or they think they're doing something for the right reasons. And maybe that's the necessary reason, but there's always another option.” -Michaela

#3- “I've come to realize when people do extract themselves out of these relationships, they flourish. You're talking about that loss of sense of self, and it's after you deal with the loss of time, right? Because that's a big thing. And sense of self, that's a big thing. Then you start to see them doing amazing things that were probably hopes and dreams that they'd had for years that they didn't allow themselves space to do at all. Or, they weren't allowed space because they were threatened or you know, et cetera.”  -Michaela

#4- “It's normal to find this codependency and this enmeshment. But then when we start going through life and we start having jobs, and kids, and opportunities, and loss, and growth, now all of a sudden, of course two people are going to start to have two different experiences. And so in an emotionally mature relationship, they're going to both be able to express them and explore those emotions. That is going to be where growth will occur.” -Tony

#5- “‘What is the intention?’ It's a question that I have to ask myself frequently while migrating through various different relationships because I feel like sometimes it's this interesting juxtaposition of trying to allow myself the freedom of expression and feeling that I'm having, and not gaslighting my own emotions.” -Michaela 

#6- “I spent 12 years of my life fixing myself to fit into a mold that was never good enough. That was my story. And I allowed it. Why? And then I think, okay, in what ways do I need to ‘unself’ help, but in what ways do I need to continue to self-help to grow from this experience?” -Michaela 

#7- “I feel like we can all take ownership of ways or places that we’re emotionally immature. And that's what I love about the highly sensitive person or the empath who finds themselves in this trauma bond or this, they call it,  human magnet syndrome with a narcissist or a severely emotionally immature person. The nice person almost inevitably thinks, wait a minute, am I the narcissist? My number one rule is no. Because you literally asked yourself the question which means you're not.” -Tony

Tony talks about gossip as a social skill. According to the article, "Psychologists say that gossiping is a social skill. Here's how to know if you're doing it right," https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/psychologists-say-gossiping-social-skill-here-s-how-know-if-ncna1056941 there is a healthy, productive way to gossip. Gossip, according to research, may actually be one of the societal forces that bring us together and help maintain social order.

Go to http://tonyoverbay.com/magnetic to learn more about the next round of Tony's transformative marriage course "Magnetic Marriage." And please subscribe to Tony's latest podcast, "Waking Up to Narcissism," wherever you listen to podcasts.

#therapy #gossip #virtualcouch #wakinguptonarcissism #tonyoverbay #tonyoverbayquote #quote #podcast #podcasting #acceptancecommitmenttherapy #motivation #coach #addictionrecovery #narcissism #happiness #behappy #mentalhealth #wellness #recovery #selfcare #anxiety #relax #mindfulness #happy #depression #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #psychology #MadeWithDescript #DescriptPro

-------------------------------- TRANSCRIPT --------------------------------

[00:00:15] Come on. Take a seat.

[00:00:22] Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode two hundred and ninety of the virtual couch. I'm your host, Tony Overbay, and this is I've lost track of the number of takes to open this episode because I have been trying to do a role, play a little bit of acting and trying to make it to sound so natural. So I decided instead, I will now tell you that. Buckle up. Here comes a really bad role play to get into today's episode. I now present to you the virtual couch actor's studio, which essentially is me trying to do a role play. But I refuse to start this one over. Here we go. And action. Hey, so you hear about Ted you or you didn't? Oh yeah, yeah. No, Ted got a tattoo. Yeah. What do you think about that? Oh, what kind? No. Yeah, no, that's cool, right? Yeah, no. I think it's cool, too. I think it was a logo of his favor of a baseball team. I mean, that's crazy, right? Baseball team on his arm. That's crazy, right? Oh, no, no. I didn't realize he was raised raised by his grandparents. Oh, so he and his grandpa used to go to those games a lot. Is that right? No, that makes sense. So that really must have been more about the relationship with his grandpa. Yeah, it's cool. Yeah, I get it. Did you see the car you just bought, though? Yeah, no, I know, right? Yeah.

[00:01:34] Who needs something that expense? I mean, come on, it's just transportation. Who cares if you don't, if you have to hold on to the steering wheel? I love taking control of my car. Yeah, no. Exactly. Ted Ted's insane about the car thing. The tattooed thing. No. Sure, I get it. I get it right. Ok. Oh, end scene. What you just witnessed there with some incredibly bad acting and role playing for the topic that we're talking about today, which is gossip, because I'm guessing that most of you listening have participated in a little gossip in your day. But depending on who you're gossiping with or two or what you are gossiping about, that is going to be an entirely different experience. And and I also guess that you have made that decision that that it's OK, even if sometimes you may learn that somebody else is gossiping and that is bad. So today we're going to talk a little bit about gossip as a social skill. Can it be a good thing? And if so, when I was reading a couple of things recently and I stumbled upon this idea, and it was just this vague idea of gossip as a way to to just check in with somebody. And I never thought about it that way. So if you are walking up to someone and you're saying, like in the incredibly horrible role playing here because there was a lot of talk right now about anything from tattoos to what shows you're watching to what politician you like.

[00:02:47] So if you're saying, Hey, how about how about that squid game this phenomenon on Netflix? And if somebody says, Oh, it's disgusting, and if you're like, Oh yeah, right, no, I know. Or if somebody says, Oh, I secretly like it and then you now feel like, Oh man, me too. So we can talk about this. The concept of gossip is so often just we're trying to check in and see, Hey, where are you at with something? And where this started coming up, especially the last few weeks. As I work with a lot of couples, I talk about that often and I work with couples that are struggling with everything. Infidelity or somebody that turns to pornography is a coping mechanism. And so when someone else is talking about maybe they're gossiping about one of these couples that's in my office, the couple will come in and let me know that they overheard somebody talking about their situation or somebody came up to them and said, Hey, people are saying this about, I've heard this about you, and it's this vibe where people are saying, Hey, did you hear about The Smiths or whoever? And if somebody says, Yeah, we just got to be there for them versus, yeah, boy, I would never do that. And you are almost just testing the water to see where other people are to see if you share a particular belief or value around whatever it is that The Smiths have done.

[00:03:56] Hey, so I'm doing a little bit of editing of the podcast. This is one of those situations where I just jumped in. The podcast has already been recorded, so I wanted to record something here where I'm talking about this fictional couple, The Smiths and the concept of gossip, because this is pretty fascinating to me. I'm talking about gossip in this context of we do this as a social creatures, and it's a way to try to test the waters to see if somebody agrees with us and we get into down later in this podcast, we're going to talk about productive ways to gossip. We're going to talk about ineffective ways to gossip. I'm going to tell you a bunch of research around gossip that's really, really interesting, but it hits me that they're going to people, be people listening to this that I am working with. Like this fictional couple named The Smiths, and it really is a fictional couple in the scenario. But I am working with people that have been going through a lot. Let's say that there's been infidelity and they're in a an incredible place now. It goes back to that betrayal trauma episode I did with Jeff Stewart, where we talked about rebuilding trust and that people often don't even know that they need new tools until they go through a pretty traumatic event.

[00:05:01] And when they have gone through the traumatic event, they seek the new tools and they embrace the tools that they actually can use all of these things for their good, and they can now have a better way to communicate. But the context I'm the reason I'm bringing it up right now is then the people. Are still around them going to gossip, and oftentimes that will actually have a pretty negative effect, let's say again on this fictional couple name, The Smiths, who then will hear that other people are talking about them even though they are starting to grow closer together, they're starting to communicate more effectively. But they will feel like they can't just go and act quote normal around people because of the gossip that they hear that people are making up additional stories or choosing sides, and when in reality the Smith couple is communicating even better. So I think that's one of those things. To just bring a little bit of awareness to is we're going to talk so much about the different types of gossip and ways to gossip. But when people are gossiping because they are trying to test the waters and see what somebody else thinks, one of the the harmful parts of that is they aren't giving the couple or the person that people are gossiping about the benefit of the doubt.

[00:06:12] And it makes so much more sense when we talk a little bit later in this episode, just in the context of Are you gossiping because you are truly wanting to just bring some awareness to someone or you gossiping because you want to take this one up position or try to share with your spouse the passive aggressive way? That man, if you ever did what The Smiths did, then I for sure would never talk to you again. So the whole concept of gossip is just so interesting, which is why I wanted to record an episode on today. But as I was going back through the editing process, I really did think about the fact that I'm missing an opportunity to let people know that if you aren't aware of someone else's experience, sure you are going to. Oftentimes, gossip is more of that. Just checking in with your spouse or somebody around you to see where they fit or where they have opinions about a certain topic or situation. But I just want you to be aware that are you even aware of how what that situation even is? Are you hearing about the situation secondhand third-hand? Or if someone let's say that in the scenario where the Smiths appear to be doing pretty good, is that gossip then done in a way that says, Well, I'm sure they're not really doing good. I mean, I'm sure they're covering things up because that's that is not a healthy version of gossip.

[00:07:24] But if it's done in a Hey, did you hear about them? They seem to be doing OK. That's fascinating, and I have never thought about what I would do if I went through that scenario. It gives me more of a curious nature and makes me want to even go directly to The Smiths and say, Man, you guys seem like you're doing well. Tell me what's going on, tell me more about your experience and that scenario. We're going to talk more about how that would be more of a productive version of gossip. So let me get right back into this episode, but I just thought I was missing this opportunity. I was I was going back and doing a little bit of editing to say that this really still ends up being about about empathy and really not knowing someone else's experience. And so then when we are gossiping about that, is that a gossip out of curiosity, of wanting a way to talk about someone else's experience with somebody close to you, your spouse? Or is it a way to then say, Hey, let's put down this other couple because because we want to to make ourselves feel better? All right, so let's jump back into this episode and or whatever you feel about a particular show or getting a tattoo or anything that people are, often that's the way. Instead of them just saying, Hey, what do you think about that? Are you pro tattoo or do you have a tattoo? Would you like to get a tattoo if you ever thought about getting a tattoo? They'll say, Well, what do you think about that guy? Get a tattoo, and then they're waiting to see what the other person says to know if they feel doing air quotes here, safe to talk about their opinion.

[00:08:43] And while I understand that, I think the the sad part sad might be the wrong word is that I would love for us to get to a place in society where it's OK to share your own opinion because your own opinion comes from all of the things that you have been through in your life. That sounds dramatic at times, but you have a belief system that is formed by all of the the data that you bring to the table. And so you may have a particular idea about what something means, whether it's a tattoo or a type of show that somebody watches or a type of humor, but that that's who you are. It makes you, you. And so I would love to get to this place where talking about my four pillars constantly, that pillar one, that there's there's a reason why somebody is saying what they're saying or the assumption of good intentions. They're not trying to hurt you, that it would lead to more curiosity to say, Hey, what do you think about tattoos, for example? And I will be super honest right now, I don't have any, and I wrote an article.

[00:09:42] I used to write a humor column in my local paper for almost a decade, and I was at a pool one day, the community pool, and I wrote what I thought was a rather humorous piece on tattoos because I was just all of a sudden aware of so many different tattoos. And that was one of the first times I got some negative. Feedback is in the form of letters to the editor that people saying that, Hey, Tony went too far on this because this tattoo means this to me, this tattoo means something else to me. And I remember going on a run around that time with a good friend in the area. I called him Pastor Nathan. And I remember just testing the water. I. Look back on that, and I was saying, hey, I got a lot of flak about this article I wrote about tattoos, what do you think? And he had talked about his son battling cancer as a child and that he had a particular scripture verse on his leg. And if I'm remembering this correctly, and so it was a real significant and I did what I did horrible role play earlier. Then I was like, Oh no, that's cool. I get that where I realized going into the article and going into that conversation, even I was testing the water to see, Hey, what does everybody think about this? Because here's my here's my opinion at this time.

[00:10:46] And so I was doing this form of gossip just to check in and see what other people thought. So at this point, now I buoy people. If you if you couldn't guess by the podcast I do, or the type of therapy that I do is, ma'am, please, you are the only version of you that is going through life the way you are. And so the significance of the things that you do are significant to you. So who on earth am I to tell you? Well, I don't think you should do that with your body or with your your job or where you should live, or what kind of car you drive. How again, I often say how adorable that I think I am. This all powerful being that can then convince you of what you need to do with your life or your body or your situation. Boy, I am not that powerful and I nor would I want to be, but I would love to tell me more. I would love to be curious because I want to hear your story, and I would love to probably express some of the things in my story as well. I wasn't going in this direction, and we'll get to the article that we're talking about today.

[00:11:43] But I got to speak at this leading Saints live event Saturday in Wolfsburg. Utah was a phenomenal event, and I will talk about that more down the road because there were some hilarious things there, but I got the air, everything out for over four hours. The recording will be available at some point through leading Saints Live or leading Saints dot org, I believe, but it was fascinating to talk about this. Everybody is their own version of themselves and I was in this room full of people that were coming from all different places in their life and different religious experiences and different family experiences and different experiences with mental health and you name it. And I love preaching authenticity, but there were times where I even found myself ready to talk big about a particular subject and still found myself it almost fifty two years old. And as a quote professional, I'm a professional. I'm doing the air quotes, but I'm a pro. I should know how to do all of these things, and it's still you find yourself wanting to test the water about, Well, what do you guys think? So we really want to just get to this place where we can say, Hey, let me take you on my train of thought, or here's what I think, and particularly in our relationships, that we want to find ourselves in relationships with people that feel safe, that we can say.

[00:12:50] Let me take you on my train of thought. Let me explore something. I'm going to get to the article now, but I get reviews. When people put reviews up on Apple Podcasts or some of the other platforms, there's this service that will send you the review, and somebody just gave me a really nice review. I think it was. It was four stars, five stars, something. But they said, love the content. But he takes a long time to get to the point and I just bless that person's heart. I'm grateful that they said, love the content they took the time to review, but I thought it was funny of how do they know what my this entire journey of in a podcast episode is? My point, but let's get to this article, though. So the article then says psychologists say gossiping is a social skill, and here's how to know if you're doing it right. And this is from an NBCNews.com article from their lifestyle section, and it's by a woman named Sarah Dagalo. So I'll probably just say, Sarah says, because I'm worried I've already butchered that last name. But she said the gossip is actually one of the societal forces that brings us together, and it helps maintain social order. And so I really do find this whole thing fascinating. So she started by saying, Hey, so your sister just gets a tattoo that's going to make your parents flip out or a coworker takes all the credit for a project that you both worked on and a meeting with your boss, or you find out that your friend's ex is cheating on his new partner.

[00:13:59] And these are all situations I probably dealt with in the last week or two and therapy. If you feel, if you if you think you'd feel the urge to share this type of news, if you heard it, you're probably right. She says that's because we're human beings and sharing information about one another is part of what we do. Explains Frank T. McAndrew, PhD, the Cornelia H. Dudley, professor of psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He says quote, Everybody gossips. It's pretty generally accepted among social scientists, or at least those who accept the theory of evolution. That gossip is likely a relic of our evolutionary past. Mcandrews tells NBC News. Better, in order to survive and pass along your genes, it is pretty much always been necessary to know about the lives of those around you who had powerful friends who was sleeping with whom, who had limited resources, or who might stab you in the back when times get tough. And just to comment or react to this article, I thought that was a really good way to frame that, that so many things in our lives are survival instincts or survival mechanisms. I talk about speaking in Utah over the weekend.

[00:15:04] I came right back home and then spoke to a group Sunday night just talking about mental health in general, and I was talking about the concept of anxiety and anxiety. Is our brain trying to look out for us and thinks it's. Doing us a favor by putting us on high alert so that we will be aware that we may turn a corner and there may be a saber tooth tiger, although now it's not saber tooth tigers, but we may turn a corner and find someone who we may not be able to trust. Or we might see the world in a way that is scary. And so we're coming up. Our brain is coming up with all these thoughts around what if? What if I get terminal illness? What if I? What if I'm late to work tomorrow? What if I don't do well on my driver's test or any of those things? So our brains thinking it's doing us a favor. But in reality, we're thinking so much about things that may are most likely won't ever happen. So gossip has evolved from that same thing that if we needed to know who was had a plot to overthrow the king, then we might want to stay away from them. Because when the coup occurs, we want to be on the side of whoever we think that is the most likely to survive. But Sarah says that knowledge has helped people get ahead socially and people who are not interested in it, meaning gossip.

[00:16:15] At some points in the history, we're at a disadvantage. Mcandrew says that they were not good at attracting and keeping mates or maintaining alliances, the ones who weren't interested in the goings on of other people. They sort of got weeded out. So you take that. The urge to share this juicy piece of news when you hear it is part of who we are and it's a natural characteristic of this species that we've come. So I go back to this horrific example that I did at the beginning of this role play. And when we want to share information, oftentimes I feel like what we're doing is checking in to see if we are around people that we feel quote safe with. That might sound dramatic, but we want to know if I'm talking to somebody about infidelity. I want to know, Hey, are we on the same page with that? Or if that person says, Oh yeah, everybody is going to cheat at some point, then I feel like, Oh, I don't want to. I don't want to hang out with that person because I have a different opinion. So this gossip really is trying to figure out who who we feel safe with, or it's also a survival mechanism to try to understand the goings on of other people, maybe in your community or in your tribe, so to speak.

[00:17:20] So we tend to think of gossip as a negative behavior, and I have I've thought about that often. It's funny when I would talk about gossip in the terms of a couple's relationship. I would say often that if you are gossiping to have a shared experience, sometimes if people don't feel like they even know what to talk about and then they have a shared experience of talking about someone else, then if it is done so in a way of, Hey boy, what do you think about that? That's crazy. Then I feel like that could be a helpful thing. If it's done in the man, that person's a horrible person, then even if we're having a shared experience around that, I don't know if I necessarily like that energy. So again, Sarah says, we tend to think of gossip as a negative behavior when, for instance, we tattle on somebody or share information behind someone else's back that may show them in a bad light. But this researcher, McAndrew says, but it's really says by definition at least the definition of social scientists who study gossip. Use gossip is any talk about someone who isn't present, and it's usually about something that we can make a moral judgment about, meaning you tend to approve of the information or you disapprove of the information. So in one sense, we are sharing gossip in order to determine if we are on the same page morally and because if we are in a completely different space in regards to our morality, then we may not feel like that person is safe for us.

[00:18:37] Another version of gossip is that it can be entertaining, meaning it doesn't feel like work to do it, so you tend to want to share or hear the information, McAndrew explains. So it's not inherently bad, and it can play an important role in keeping our society connected. So he goes on to say gossiping isn't necessarily a bad thing. It depends on the context. So here's where the research comes in. In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Social, Psychological and Personality Science. Four hundred and sixty seven adults were electronic readers over the course of two to five days, which collected samples of their verbal conversations over that time period. I'm curious if you feel like you would be up for something like that, and this is one of those fascinating things about research and studies is that I do wonder if people that were wearing this electronic recorder over the course of two to five days would be less or more likely to gossip, depending on their attachment, style and a sense of how they get validation. Do they want to show the researchers that, oh no, I don't gossip and hoping that they will get some attaboys boys? Or if they're saying, Man, if I'm going to do this research, I'm going to, I'm going to go overboard.

[00:19:38] I'm going to gossip like nobody's business. So then they will say, Man, you're good at gossiping. So that's a whole other piece of data that we could look at down the road. But McKenna says the researchers listen to the sound files of the totality of those conversations and anything that they classified as gossip. And you talk about other people who weren't part of the conversation was coded as either positive, negative or neutral, according to a standardized scale. And again, I'm not trying to debunk research or that sort of thing because I think we need data to work with. But oftentimes you really can see where some holes and even the collection of data could be in that one sentence, we just talked about anything classified as gossip. Was quoted is either positive, negative or neutral, according to a standardized scale. It'll be fascinating to know what that standardized scale was and then the person who is listening depending on their own experiences. I wonder if there were things where they feel like this isn't really negative or this is more neutral where someone else might say, no, that's definitely negative and something else might feel positive. Anyway, I digress there a little bit. But he says it's just social information and we learn a lot about the social world around us when we gossip. So the data showed that nearly everybody in the study gossip, so only thirty four individuals out of the four hundred and sixty seven did not gossip at all, and most gossip was coded as neither positive or negative.

[00:20:55] The majority of gossip reported in the study. Seventy five percent of it was neutral. Now, if you are wondering if there is a great divide on men and women, women engaged in more neutral gossip than men. But the amount of negative and positive gossip shared among men and women was fairly consistent, and overall people who were more extroverted tended to gossip more than those who were introverted. So I'm guessing that's probably not a big surprise. But the data is limited and that it only looked at one group of individuals. But what was found in the sample backs up what McAndrew and others have found when they've studied gossip that it's about communicating information about the world we live in and most of us do it, explains lead study author Megan Robbins, who's an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California Riverside. She said It's just social information, and we learn a lot about the social world around us when we gossip. So back to this article. Sarah says what makes gossip good, bad or neutral is how we use that information. Mcandrews goes on to say it's not about the content of the news itself, it's how we use that information. He says that gossiping is a social skill.

[00:21:56] So what makes a good gossiper? We are going to talk about that right after this break. So vulnerability time, I am often asked, does my podcast make money? And the answer is it does at times. And one of the ways that it does is through advertisements and the one that helps the most people. I believe by far is when I talk about Betterhelp.com. Yet I can go an entire month, as I just did without mentioning Betterhelp.com. So if you are looking for counseling therapy, if you're looking for a licensed therapist in your area and are struggling with that, if or if you would even prefer telehealth if you want online therapy, if you want phone therapy, if you want video therapy, then reach out through Betterhelp.com virtual couch, you'll get 10 percent off your first month's treatments. Their intake process is incredible. They ask all the right questions and they get you to somebody that is a licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed professional that is in your that can meet you where you're at, that can talk about anxiety, depression. They can use a variety of different therapeutic techniques. But overall, go take care of your mental health. You, you are definitely worth it. So if you're struggling to find somebody that can help you or if you just feel like the world of online therapy might be the easiest approach, then go to Betterhelp.com virtual couch and get 10 percent off your first month's treatment.

[00:23:15] Again, that is Betterhelp.com virtual couch. They've helped over a million people and you could be talking to somebody in up to 48 hours. And last but not least, go to totally over magnetic and find out more about my upcoming magnetic marriage course. We're about to launch round three and it is a phenomenal course. I talk about it so much that I feel like I'll just leave it there. All right, let's get back to the article. Let's get back to this concept about gossip. So where we left off gossiping as a social skill, what makes a good gossiper a good gossiper is somebody who people trust with information, somebody who uses that information in a responsible way. When you find out the person that your friend has a crush on has a bad reputation for cheating, and you let your friend know not to hurt your friend, but as a warning. Or if you find out that somebody in your company is not a team player and you let other coworkers know so that they can try to avoid working with that colleague. That's where people feel in general that that can where gossip can be a good thing. And it's interesting because people may not even view that as gossip. They might view it as just sharing information. But I like that social psychologist definition of gossip, meaning that it is anything where you were talking about somebody who isn't present.

[00:24:22] But the key is that you're sharing information in an appropriate way that is helping others. Sarah goes on to say a bad gossip or, on the other hand, is somebody who shares information about others in order to get ahead or to get an advantage themselves, or just they share things just recklessly. Others don't tend to trust quote bad gossipers with information when they have it. If you can't, she says, if you can't keep your mouth shut that your friend's marriage is on the fritz, you let your entire circle of friends know about how another friend did poorly on an exam than in those scenarios. Are you speaking more about your ability to be trusted versus, Hey, I'm sharing this information because I'm worried or I'm just hoping to protect or look out for somebody. And science has shown that gossip can be a source for good, and it can actually help maintain social order. The research has shown that a lot of gossip has both positive effects and moral motivations, explains Rob Weiler, professor of sociology and director of the Polarization and. Social change laboratory at Stanford University, who studies the social forces that bring us together and drive us against one another, including gossip. So studies from his group have shown that the more generous and moral among us are most likely to pass along rumors about untrustworthy people, and they report doing so because they are concerned about helping others or the general good.

[00:25:35] They call this type of gossip pro-social gossip because it serves to warn others, which has the effect of lowering overall exploitation in groups, Wheeler says. A lot of gossip is driven by concern for others, and it has positive social effects, he says. Work from his group has also found that engaging in gossip can actually temper some of our frustrations and other negative emotions when we feel that we find out someone has behaved in a deviant way. So the example he gives as if a coworker unfairly gets a promotion, even though the friend that you meet for lunch after this happens has never met that coworker. You still tell that friend all the reasons your colleague didn't deserve the new position. And I think in my world that can be venting, that can be just getting something off your chest. And I think one of the keys there is when you find somebody that will just listen and say, Tell me more. That must be hard, but not say or try to fix or say, yeah, you need to realize or. But what you don't understand is because that that just builds up that psychological reactants or that instant negative reaction more. We're being told what to do, even if we're being told to get over it or not worry about it than our brain says.

[00:26:35] I will not stop worrying about it and I will not get over it. So just having somebody there that you can express things to somebody that you can get things out of your mind and just share your train of thought can be so powerful. And his team has also found that gossip is actually one of the forces that promotes cooperation among groups to experiments his team has done suggested the threat of being gossiped about deters untrustworthy behavior. Once people have been gossiped about for behaving in an untrustworthy way, they tend to reform their behavior, and gossip helps people know who to avoid and not trust. So together, the evidence suggests that gossip may play an important role in maintaining social order, Wheeler says. But spreading rumors about people who have quote Behave Badly allows our friends and our acquaintances to, in theory, know who to trust, and that threat of gossip can deter bad behavior in the first place. As people seek to avoid developing a bad reputation, yes, you can get better at gossiping for good. But here's how to make sure that your gossip going to responsible, trustworthy way. Think twice before you do it. Whether you're gossiping in a responsible way or not is all a matter of when you're doing it and with whom you're sharing the information, McAndrew says. Are you stabbing somebody in the back by telling that story? Is that news going to stop something bad from happening? The second one, I think, is so important.

[00:27:46] Don't gossip for personal gain. If you're doing it for your own personal gain, don't, Willer says it's probably not going to do anybody any favors. The form of gossip that we found beneficial is negative gossip about people who have behaved in an antisocial way, Wheeler says. And the third one is don't distort information, tell it like it is. Lead the exaggerations at the door. Wheeler says people often exaggerate what they pass on to make a better or more coherent story, or to justify why they're speaking about someone. And I think that part is so key that people are trying to justify why they're speaking about someone, he says. That's not a responsible way of sharing information. Gossip doesn't do a lot of good if it's informational content is unreliable. So if we go to the what have we learned today, there is a human need to share experiences and to share information. And if someone is not around that we are doing it, then technically that is by definition, by social psychologists definition. That is gossip. And there are situations where that has been something through the years that will is done to keep us safe. But I worry at times that it is just a way to then put you in a one up position over someone else without really knowing what the details or the facts are and somebody else's situation.

[00:28:54] So if and I think this is almost part of the thing I love talking about of acceptance, that if we accept the fact that we are people who gossip by nature, that acceptance doesn't mean apathy. It doesn't mean that, OK, well, know, hey, we all do it. So it doesn't matter what I say. I'm just I'm just gossiping. I'm just being human. No. If we accept the fact that we do gossip, then can we gossip responsibly? Can we gossip in a way that is saying, Hey, I'm just sharing this information as a way of warning or is a shared experience, but not as a way to then gang up on someone or to put someone in a one down position or to put yourself in a one up position? Because in that scenario, now we're digging into gossip as a way of wanting to be validated or wanting to get our needs met. When in reality, that whole concept of looking for external validation. Somebody to validate me to help me. Help me feel like I'm OK. And that stuff there. There we go. We're digging back into our childhood. We need to get to this place that we are mature adults, mature human beings that can take ownership of our own experiences or our own thoughts and emotions. And so we're quite welcome to share them with other people. But we need to make room for the fact that other people have different experiences as well.

[00:30:01] And when we hear of someone else's experience, even if it is not something that we have gone through, or if it even invalidates what our thoughts are about, something that's OK. And that's often that place where we need to learn to sit with a little bit of that discomfort not going to this place where we feel. We have to defend ourselves, or we have to break down the other person's what their reality is because that's the point where then we all start to go back into our bunkers and fire shots and we look for just those, only those who agree with us and we can find ourselves falling into this little echo chamber of, nope, I'm right, and I will only surround myself by the people who agree with me. Because man that that can be that can be a dangerous place to be. So take a look at the way that you communicate. And again, if we own up to the fact that we all gossip, can we do it in a more productive way, in a more in a way that psychologists say is a social skill and to know that there are ways to do that right and in ways that are not so helpful? All right. This is the part of the show where I'm rambling, so I hope that you all have an amazing week.

[00:30:59] Coming up now is the amazing the talented Aurora Florence with her song It's wonderful. We'll see you next time.

[00:31:06] Compressed emotions flying. Starting out the other end, the pressures of the daily grind, it's wonderful. And plastic waste and rubber ghost are floating past the midnight hour. They push aside the things that

Tony discusses the 4 Steps of Differentiation from the article "Psychological Differentiation" from https://www.psychalive.org/psychological-differentiation/ The 4 Steps are based on the work of Dr. Robert Firestone from his book "The Self-Under Siege: A Therapeutic Model for Differentiation," Visit http://tonyoverbay.com to sign up for Tony's newsletter and to find out more about his programs for couples communication, parenting, pornography recovery and more. You can find Russ Harris' values worksheet here https://psychwire.com/harris/resources

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