Clint Murphy, Jody Carrington
Clint Murphy 00:00
Jodi, welcome to the growth guide podcast. For our listeners who don’t know you would you be able to give them a brief introduction to yourself?
Jody Carrington 00:09
Well, the problem is brief. So I I’ll give you the best shot I got Clint. I’m a psychologist, I’m a child psychologist by training, I started out as a police psychologist. And now I do a lot of work. I did a lot of work with kids, I don’t really like kids. But I really love the people who hold them. I’m a parent of three of my own. So I’m kind of coming around to the kid thing. But I really love relationships and connection and how trauma messes it all up. So I grew up in a little town in Alberta, and home of the Sutters, seven boys, six make the NHL. So I’m a huge fan of hockey. And I remember so much about how much I hated that experience of everybody knowing everything about everyone. There was 22 of us that started kindergarten together, the same 19 of us graduated together. But I can tell you the first and last name ever be teacher I had, I can tell you my bus drivers name, I could tell you where he lived. I knew all of those things. And I remember my favorite teacher, I remember where she was standing. I remember what she was wearing. The day, she had to tell us that then captain of our hockey team had been killed. And I remember thinking even as a 16 year old kid, if the big people are in charge, if there’s somebody leading the helm, at the helm, in times of big emotion, the rest of us are gonna be okay. And that was like the decision I made it sucks I want to be a psychologist is I know, this is what I want to do. And so it took me 13 years to get a PhD. And I worked as a civilian member for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for a period in there. And then my first job was on a lab psychiatric inpatient unit for kids at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where I helped some of the, you know, the hitters, the kickers, the fighters, the ones to tell you to F off. I love those babies. Because we ask the question all the time in the world of policing and education and trying to figure out people these days, we always ask what is wrong with you? But we rarely do we ask what happened to you? And I now spend a lot of time with organizations and leaders talking about as we move through this, this burnout, this period of, you know, mental health crisis that’s affecting every single level of our family systems and our organizations. And I really think the answer is so simple, but it is so brutally difficult to employ, because we’re neurobiologically wired for connection, we will never automate relationship. But the hardest thing we will do is look into the eyes of the people we love. And it is sort of renegotiating that again, and again, and again, that makes those among us, the most mentally well, and the most successful.
Clint Murphy 02:43
So we’re going to jump right into that was the meat from the book. And the first question then is, why don’t we feel seen and heard in society, and we’re going to talk about the mental health impacts, there’s a couple things you write, I’ll read a couple of things, and then let you dive right into it. So the first is, in the history of our lives, we’ve never been more disconnected, more unseen as a globe than we are right now. And something I saw through COVID and I heard early on and then just saw it expand was the idea that isolation equals amplification as it relates to mental health. So we had that first statement, and then you hit on this: emotional illness for the first time in our history is killing us faster at a faster rate than physical illness. Essentially, things like anxiety and depression, which can often lead to suicide are the leading cause of death. So what’s happened in such a short period of time to lead to this feeling of disconnection being unseen, being unheard and how is that traveled into such an impact on our mental health?
Jody Carrington 04:06
In a statement, it is a lack of proximity to each other. So you will never automate relationships. If we were in the same room, this would be arguably a richer conversation because neural chemically we would be in different states, okay, I would have have to navigate into your studio you know, we would have sort of, our cortisol might have been lower, our oxytocin, our dopamine might have, you know, stuck up a little bit more. Think about in one generation, what has changed in terms of our ability just to be with each other. Think about the the square footage of the house that your grandfather was raised in, and the square footage of the house in which we raised you there. But you might be a little different in Vancouver, but in most places, the square footage in which we spend time with our people has absolutely expanded exponentially. And then we’ve been given so many technological advances which are beautiful and are never the problem that I hope in my lifetime, there’s enough technological advancements that, you know, pancreatic cancer isn’t a death sentence. I hope that, you know, for all of these things, it’s a beautiful, beautiful experience, we can do this today. But what happens in that place is it then becomes the exit ramp, the ease to disconnect from people, which again, is the hardest thing we will ever do. I mean, Anon is a researcher out of Singapore. And he has, I think, what are the most profound research protocols on the planet. He said, listen, here’s the here’s the only deal. I want you to look at somebody for four minutes, somebody who know, somebody you love for four minutes, and just watch what happens. And when I asked people to do that, when I asked my own personal husband, I was reading this research, and I was like, how hard can this be? We’ve been married for 15 years, we have three children together, obviously, he’s gonna want to look at me. So I come home. And I say to him, Hey, I was just reading this research. Can we just sit on the couch and look at each other? He’s a feedlot nutritionist by training. So he’s got a PhD in how to feed cows. Anyway, he’s a nice guy. But anyway, let’s just look at each other. You know, he said to me, why? So what do you mean? Why? Like, I had a lot of choices in 1993, I chose you. So sit down. And we got the timer out, because he’s a scientist, which is fine, starts the stop watch, because God forbid, we go over it for a minute. And we’re not seven seconds into this experience. And he calls a timeout. And you know, what he is this was question, What am I looking for specifically? Huh, did you get a hair cut? Is this a new shirt, I was like, come one, the hardest thing we will do is look into the eyes of the people we love. And in the first 30 seconds, you know, even if they’re your mom or your sister or you know, your partner, it’s uncomfortable. And this often happens in couples therapy, the hardest thing, the only thing I have to do in couples therapy is to get to people look at each other. And it is really remarkable to me every time how difficult this is. Because, you know, we think about even the ease and COVID has exponentially increased this disconnect. Because for the physical safety of our communities, we’ve had to stay home, was suggested that we’re still masking behind things. And so our ability to just do online meetings has been so easy, that we don’t want to change it. But working from home, and I will say this unequivocally will be the death of so many organizations and industries, because we need each other.
Clint Murphy 07:34
Oh, let’s, let’s dig into that a little. So a lot of people are throwing out well, we don’t need to go into the workplace, I’m more productive at home. Some owners would say hey, there’s different levels of productivity, there’s personal productivity, sure, you may be, you may be more personally productive. There’s team productivity, we think it’s taking a hit. There’s corporate productivity, we definitely think that’s taking a hit. And we think the people that are being impacted the most are the people who want this, the young people who are saying, well, this is easy, I just, but they’re not learning. They’re not getting the osmosis that you got, that I got, where you’re just sitting in your chair, and you’re hearing the VP or you’re hearing the C suite talk and you’re listening. And you’re learning just by sitting there because we can’t replicate that over zoom. So sure, you might be able to do your job based on some loom videos and SOPs. But you’re not building a relationship with the key people in the organization, you’re not getting that connection. And I don’t know about you, but after 10 months of my office or is in the backyard, I am blessed enough to have this separate little building that I could go to through COVID. After 10 months, when I would start to walk towards it. I had one day where I had a bit of a panic attack. And I texted my colleague and said, Laura, I can’t have our one to one. I need some time. I couldn’t come out here like the, the isolation of being in here 10 to 12 hours a day was to your point it felt like it was killing me. So where do you see this work from home, hybrid, full time back in the office? Where do you see that in the next three to five to 10 years going? Do you see us moving more back to the office because there are so many mental health, productivity, lack of learning of full time work from home?
Jody Carrington 09:43
I think we’re in a really big crux right now because there’s so many people that are demanding, you know what, what they think is best for them. And it may be you know, for their family system. There may be often, you know, opportunities that allow you to sort of be in a place but I think we’re losing scale. I think we’re losing connection with each other. And I think that where I see it going is really great organizations won’t get their people back to work, they will really make it the place where they want to be. Because, you know, here’s the answer to it all. I mean, if we could sustain it down into one word, distill it, not sustain it, distill it down into one word, I would say that it’s all about acknowledgement. When you’re acknowledged, you rise. And, you know, one of my favorite hockey coaches said this, he said, you should see how fast I can get a kid to skate when I know the name of their dog. And it is interesting, we want to do well for each other. We want to feel like we’re making a difference. We want somebody to say like, Clint, that was the most amazing set of numbers you’ve ever ran in your life? Like, how did you do this for this company? Get in here. We’re so excited to talk to you about this. We are so disconnected from each other. Like, watch what happens today. If you give somebody a compliment. Watch what happens today, particularly a stranger if you’re, you know, you’re gonna buy somebody’s coffee today. Or you’re gonna walk by, you know, you’re walking your dog today. And you’re just gonna say like, Hey, how are you? Nice shirt. People don’t know what to do with that.Think about when you the last time you’ve been in an elevator, right? The first thing many people do is look at their phone. If you try to strike up a conversation, people are a little bit uncomfortable sometimes. And I think this is the truth about so much of, particularly kids, I spend a lot of time thinking about kids these days. You are not born with empathy, or kindness, or the ability to regulate emotion, somebody has to show you how to do that. Yeah, you’re not born with the capacity to grieve. Or sorry, you’re not born with the capacity to mourn. Grief is a universal response to loss. You’re not born with the capacity to mourn. You’re not born with the ability to navigate broken hearts, and loss and pain, somebody’s has to show you how to do that. And if we’ve never spent this much time alone, with this false sense of connection, because everybody gets up, most people before they even put their feet on the ground are scrolling other people’s like that. And Comparison is the thief of all joy. But before we even get out of bed in the morning, we’re like, oh, shit, we gotta be drinking more college. Oh my god. What do you mean? Clint’s read 16 books this month? Oh my god, I gotta do better. I gotta be better. I gotta, what is wrong with me? Yeah, people are getting family pictures. And so you’re screaming at your spouse, like, we need family pictures. And you know, and so there’s this often this place of our shoulders are up. And the anticipatory anxiety of not sort of having the distraction of other people or the connection of other people where I could say to you in the workplace, like doing okay dude? Yeah, I didn’t see. I mean, you were a bit late this morning. And it looks like shits going south, you okay? Right? That is very hard to make that assessment over zoom to the same degree. And I’ll tell you that as a psychologist, right, we, as you know, the the massive amount of the majority of our communication is nonverbal, our ability to sort of feel and sense of each other’s moods or their response to a pitch, or, you know, our understanding of our feeling of you know, whether I’m a CFO or CEO, or I’m running my like, I know how people feel about me, that’s much more difficult to make sense of when I’m online, and you don’t want to turn your camera on.
Clint Murphy 12:11
Oh, like, okay, work from home, but like, turn your camera on.
Jody Carrington 13:28
So for a year in COVID, I did lots of talks online, obviously. And it was so necessary for me to have people turn their cameras on because I hate speaking into abyss and abyss of my own. I don’t know what people are, what like it even podcasts is what I so love about your work is that this necessity to do a video like to be able to turn it on trying to do a podcast with no camera. Makes no sense to me. Because how do we have a conversation? Podcasting is about conversations when you have guests on about what is it, what do you know, what, what can I teach you? What can I learn from you? What are we, what are we doing together? Oh, my gosh, you’re amazing. Tell me about all of these other people you’ve met. I want to see your response to that. And when I say something, or when I do something, and you’re like, yes, or you’re like geez, what the hell is happening? I need to know that. If I want to continue a conversation that’s going to be helpful or fruitful. Can you imagine doing a big pitch to a team and nobody’s cameras on like, I don’t understand how you get any feedback to know whether you’re great or absolutely terrible. It’s critically important to our abilities.
Clint Murphy 14:37
In having conversation, you need to know, am I going down the right path? And the way you know, is you see your audience and you say, okay, I can see the Ted’s falling asleep. Tina doesn’t look very happy. So maybe I need to change what I’m talking about. Maybe I need to say, hey, let’s have a breakout room. Let’s fire this up. You know, it seems I’m going down the wrong path. What do y’all want me to talk about?
Jody Carrington 15:04
And reading the room is a skill. And so sometimes when I have this conversation, I feel old, okay? Because I feel like there’s young people in the room going like, oh my, you don’t get it with this is the new way. And maybe I am old, this is a thing I’ll live up to. But I think there’s also a sense of things that we can make things easier and automated and innovation, creativity, all of those things, will never ever grow into a place that we will get better than what we already are at knowing that when I can create the dynamics of a team, where I can’t wait to get in and jam on an idea with you, I can’t wait to get in and sort of check in and see how things are going or I know there’s going to be good snacks today. You can’t replicate that. And I think that that’s the piece, right is that if you know nothing else, oh, my gosh, the difference of feeling the synergy of a team in a room, when you’re having a good brainstorm session, or you’re having a really great idea or, you know, you’re on the job for 36 minutes. And I’m already like, I remember this the first day at the Children’s Hospital, people were like, you know, Dr. Carrington, what is your conceptualization on this, and I remember thinking like, holy shit, that’s gonna be good, I can’t wait to hear it. And then I realized that was me. And then my ability to have to like then jump in and watch other people’s responses to that. And like, you can’t do that without the room. And you know,the psychiatrists beside me going like, yeah, no, that’s great. That’s a great point. Facilitating that. And to your point, right? If you want to be mentored, if you’re coming into an organization, and you kind of feel that from, you know, your CEO, or or the executives that have been so successful. I mean, the whole basis of this podcast is really, how do you do that. But you can listen to it enough that when you get to be mentored by somebody in the same place, is a whole different story.
Clint Murphy 16:50
And there’s definitely a room for the blending of these two styles. As an example, when it comes to meetings, one of the things I definitely learned through COVID, is we need less of them. And let’s get in there, let’s have deep meaningful conversation fast. And let’s get out and get to work. Let’s not book the meeting for an hour and chew up the hour because we have it. Like, what’s the issue? What do we need to do? Like have that relational foundation, but like, let’s give you your time. Let’s just make sure we’re not wasting it.
Jody Carrington 17:27
Oh, listen, like this is so much more about leadership than it is even about meeting management. Right? Like, I think it’s team dynamics. I think it’s culture, I think, if you are, you know, whether you’re in the office or not, if somebody needs to perpetually have your Thursday at eight, and we do this no matter what, even if we don’t have an issue, we sit here for an hour, right? I think that’s really about how are we creating innovative and creative cultures. And the more I feel acknowledged and invested in a team, the more I’m going to be able to say hey Clint, I don’t know, if these are really helping dude, what I’d really love us to think about is, can we maybe use 15 minutes to come up before this and jump in, if I’m more invested, I’m much more creative and innovative. If I’m still in this place of whether I’m working from home or in the office, or doing a hybrid model, every organization will figure out what works for them, I would just really call any leader to the table to be able to say, Alright, I want you to think about why don’t people want to be in the workspace, if it’s physically, you know, if we have a global team, for example, right. And I’m, you know, phoning in somebody from Qatar and East India, and I have somebody in New York, obviously, it’s going to be not financially responsible to have everybody in the room Tuesday morning, at eight o’clock. Got it. So in some of our global organizations, or even our virtual assistant, you know, relationships, that makes sense to me. So do the very best you can to keep the camera on to make sure that people understand the nuances of conversation. And then if at all possible, get your teams together, as much as you can, even if it’s for a yearly connection, you know, if it’s for gosh, if you can do that every month, I mean, come in, you know, we have a couple of people in our team that work, you know, in the city over, one of the prerequisites for being a part of our team is you need to be in a place where I can see you at least once a month. And I think it’s critical. I really think it’s critical to the development of the people who we want in our respective organizations, and it won’t always be possible. And you know, that’s absolutely okay. Just, I would really consider it a significant priority.
Clint Murphy 19:28
Agree. And part of what we’re going to dive into, because there’s so much we’ve brought up in that last few minutes. And for our listeners, I’ll point out that the occupation for your husband makes sense in Alberta because it’s our version of Texas. I didn’t want to let that one go. So working with the cows totally makes sense. But where we’re gonna go this next one is a multi partner so apologize for the TED Talk in advance. Buckle in. But I want to dive into because we talked a little bit about some of the impacts of COVID and one of the big things that I’ve been noticing is this increase in incivility, decrease in patience. And it’s leading to what you call flipping the lid much more often. And for our readers, what we’re talking about there are listeners is this idea of emotional dysregulation. And you talk about these three prime ingredients for emotional dysregulation. And so what’s jumping out at me is it seems like people are getting much more emotionally dysregulated, whether it’s at Costco, in the gas station lineup at Starbucks, wherever it is, we’re seeing things that four years ago, I don’t recall quite seeing that amount of emotional dysregulation. So why is this emotional dysregulation on the rise? How did COVID contribute to these three prime ingredients? And what are the ingredients? And what do we do about it?
Jody Carrington 21:04
Love it. So the definition of emotional regulation is how not to lose your friggin mind. And it is probably the most significant skill we will ever give our children. And it is the teams you want to build. If you have people with the ability to stay calm in times of distress, you will do well in this world. Think about being led by somebody who you know, when there’s a massive, you know, financial crisis or you got a problem or there’s a data breach and they just lose it. They’re like, holy, I don’t know what to do. You know, people have a very difficult time following you that. If you see parents who lose their mind all the time, the job typically of little people is to lose their mind, the job of big people is to walk them through it again and again and again. That’s how we learn emotional regulation. And I, I talked about this Ron Dash quote all the time that changed my life, he said, We are all just here walking each other home. And I love that. We are all just here walking each other home because none of us get out of here alive. If you build a team of really good walkers. I mean, this is I spend a lot of time talking to police officers, first responders, and a lot of time talking to teachers, I can’t think of two professions that are more important in this world of walking. Because there’s a lot of emotional dysregulation that happens in when uncertainty, fear and no end in sight is on board. So those are the three ingredients. And if I think about you know in my career, apprehending a kid or sitting in a secure room, or you know, being at the scene of a death notification, uncertainty, fear, no end in sight. If you think about navigating a company through financial ruin, the stock just falls out and everybody like it’s it’s over. Uncertainty, fear, no end in sight. What happens in that response is our body goes into fight or flight, our lid, our prefrontal cortex from a neurobiological perspective flips out of the way and we go to a very primitive way of operating, fight flight or freeze, and our shoulders if you will, in a very simplistic, this is much more complicated, and obviously, but just your shoulders go up. Yeah, you’re ready. Think about the three components of a global pandemic, uncertainty, fear, no end in sight. So as a globe, we’ve spent the last three years with our shoulders up around our ears, especially if you’re in health care, especially if you’re worried about the physical health and safety which most of us are, of our parents, our grandparents, our children, our immunocompromised relatives, anybody. And what happens when your body is in that state, it’s very similar. I mean, the definition of trauma is anything encoded in terror. And when we spend a lot of time up here, the body deeps the score. And I really love the conceptualization, you know, Freudenberger came up with a term called burnout in 1974, which had nothing to do with the pandemic. And he said, the definition of burnout, he was working, studying a drug addicted population, and started to understand the parallels between you know, a, somebody who uses drugs excessively, to the point of numbing is colloquially referred to as a burnout. And he said, I’m noticing this in organizations. And he said, the definition of burnout is when the resources outside of work intended to fill your soul are not greater, every once in a while, than those that get sucked from your soul at work. You burn out, and shocking, right? If you don’t put enough gas in your car, it stops running in the same concept is we worry so much about the people we serve and not the people doing the serving. But if the people doing the serving aren’t okay, the people they serve don’t stand a chance. And what I loved the most about his theory is he said and this is true across industry and organization is there’s three things you’ll notice and people who are burnt out and emotional exhaustion, a lack of compassion, and an experience of futility, which basically means your ambition is broken. So first of all, emotional exhaustion. Think about this. If you spend your whole day with your shoulders up here and you’re like, oh, god, okay, what’s gonna happen? Oh, no shit. Before I get out of bed in the morning, I’m like, what? Who’s taking the kids here? Where’s the dog? We’ve never been such inundated with such social media and news and every single second, I mean, our kids don’t leave the school yard without knowing exactly where everybody is. There’s no reprieve. So your body’s like this all the time. It affects your sleep. The number one question I ask when doing a mental health assessment is how is your sleep? Because have you ever seen a toddler miss a nap? They become as assholy-ish. And so do you. When that sleep gets disrupted, particularly if you work shift work, or you’re worried about the safety of other people, it becomes very difficult to get your body in a state of emotional relaxation. And what happens then is we very quickly become chippy ,very divisive in our thinking, us versus them. And I used to be a really nice person, I say this all the time, like I’m a local psychologist, but I found myself you know, even last week driving, I know, if you wave at people or buy a coffee for them, I mean, you could turn them into incredible humans, you get them back to the best parts of themselves. But I was driving, I pulled up beside a purple jeep. And my first thought was like, Who that shit tries a purple Jeep? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And I was like, did they get it in a divorce? Like I wouldn’t even make eye contact, I’m mad. What is wrong with me? You know, and this happens, because we spend a lot of time like this, then it leads to the third thing that Freudenberger talks about in this original theory of burnout. He said, futility sets in and it’s the thing that concerns me the most in organizations, because it is contagious. And it is sort of like this thing. You know, your your fellow employees will be like you’re, you’re leaving at three, k me two, what are they going to do? Give us a water bottle, whoo. Thank you for your service yet. Nobody gets what it’s like to do this work on the front line. And it really kills innovation and creativity. Because misery doesn’t love company. Misery loves miserable company. And so if we create that culture, or if that’s, you know, is cool to be rolling your eyes or turning your camera off at team meetings or like, whatever, you know, somebody comes in, a new guy, a new hire with, you know, is trying to be Mary Poppins and trying to change the culture. And they’re like, Oh, my, you guys, like, let’s do a potluck. Okay, and people are like, shut up, Linda, you know, because innovation, creativity is so killed in this place of defeat. And when we’ve spent a lot of time with our shoulders out, we’re getting chippier, the people we serve are getting chippier. I mean, the data is amazing. The divorce rate has increased in this country by 33% since the beginning of the pandemic. We’ve never seen this level of domestic violence, child maltreatment. When we think about chippiness in burnout, organizations are measuring burnout. So not only do the people we serve, have more on their plate, which means they’re a bit more dysregulated, so are the people we’re serving alongside. And so it becomes really difficult then, without a absolute slow down on purpose. How do we do this better? To shift an organization it gets overwhelming and exhausting. And we just are like, what’s the point?
Clint Murphy 28:17
And so when we get to that stage, where we’re saying, what’s the point? It feels to some extent, that’s where we’re, in essence, quiet quitting. Yeah, because we don’t see the point anymore.
Jody Carrington 28:30
No, so quiet quitting. Quitting is essentially Freudenberger’s futility. Which means that well I need to be here for a paycheck, but I’m not valued in this organization, or this industry, I can’t make a difference. You know, as a police officer, as a social worker, I just Narcaned this guy six times today, and I’m back in the same shit. Like, what is the point? There’s not enough people to be here. There’s not enough people to show up for this. You don’t care? Like what is the point. And so you just show up and do the thing. But I’m getting maybe, I don’t know, 20% of your ability, and I’m leaving you very empty, which should be the biggest concern for organizations, right? Because Vivec Murphy, who is the Surgeon General, the United States of America, I put out a report three weeks ago and he said, Listen, we are in a loneliness epidemic. And loneliness is more than just a feeling. You see, it can debilitate your physical well being. And it is, you know, the primary ingredient to suicidal ideation. And when we think about, you know, at any given time, 10% of any organization, people have a plan on how to end their lives. This isn’t just who we’re serving. These are, these are people who are showing up. And in our country. Clint, the highest rate of suicide is middle aged men.
Clint Murphy 29:43
Yeah, we’re definitely going to talk about that today because it’s a massive issue that people don’t necessarily see or realize is this mental health issue that relates to men and I’m right in that prime category at this point in my life, and I understand it, experienced it. And so I am aware. And there’s this idea, you talk a bit about it, part of the challenge for us is, we aren’t taught. Nor do I think we necessarily have the outlet to use emotional language, and to have conversations about emotional and mental health,with other people.
Jody Carrington 30:36
Oh, listen, it’s such a stigma. And we think we’re getting better. I mean, I coach minor hockey in this town, and I hear this, I heard this last week, right? Boys Don’t Cry, you skate like a girl. It’s okay. We still consider in any organizational trainings, the soft skills to be the ones where we worry about how you do it, how you feel it? Do you feel valued in this industry, and this organization. And we think that, you know, that’s such a waste of time, and it’s all soft shit. And generally, the way that it’s done is brutal. Because what is necessary, first of all, is to understand the importance of an emotional language, you have to name it to tame it. Dan Siegel said that, he’s a psychiatristBrene Brown wrote a book called Atlas of Heart. And she’s also got a phenomenal work around leadership. And she said, this in generally speaking, people have three words for emotion: happy, sad and pissed off. And if I’m trying to sort of build a relationship with you, and try to figure out what you need from me, and you just come into my office and just say, I don’t know what the problem is here, I’m just pissed off. This is stupid, nobody gets it, I’m pissed off. If you have much more of an emotional language. And you can say something like, to me, I just feel like, I’m a failure. I don’t feel like I’m contributing. I feel like sort of, there’s such a loneliness in the way that I show up sometimes, that I just wonder if if I matter here, if people sort of see me, I love to contribute. I have some ideas. And every time we sort of get into this meeting, I just, I get so angry, when people are just like, you know, this is the way we’re doing it. Because this is the way it’s always been done. When we can have more of a conversation about that, when you have an emotional language, it makes it easier to solve problems. But here’s the thing historically, men in particular, have in the last three generations, and this isn’t about penises and vaginas. I have two sons and an amazing husband. This isn’t about necessarily sort of women need a seat at the table, although I believe that to the core of me, but it is now the future is female in so many ways or female identifying because we need an emotional language to navigate and get the best out of our people. And if you don’t have the ability to stand big emotion in your team, you will not be as successful as you can. And often women are better at this only because we have come from multiple generations where nurturing, I mean, if you walk into Toys R Us today, I wrote about this in the book, there’s a great big delineation, there’s a line down the middle, despite the fact that gender is a spectrum. There’s a blue side and a pink side and the blue side where two penises go, there’s lots of like what trucks and I’ll shoot you and hockey sticks and I’ve got it at and over in the vagina side, there’s nurturing and babies and you know, even before our children or if you ever did a, you know a gender reveal party, have you ever been to one of them bullshit things. The second they shoot out or you bite into the pink cupcake, people go like this, oh. And then when we get the blue cupcake, or the blue cake or the blue, you shoot in Alberta, we shoot things like a deer. If this blue smoke comes out of the gun, Oh, yeah. Oh, God got it. Let’s go!. There’s such an expectation around how you’re going to show up in the world. But here’s the issue, every single person, every single heartbeat on this planet, regardless of age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, have the same emotional makeup. And if I have nowhere to put it, it’ll eat you from the inside out. I say this so often, emotions will not kill you. Anxiety, depression, they don’t have the capacity. They are emotions, but not talking about a mine.
Clint Murphy 34:04
So have you noticed this trend? And I’ve seen it in a few people I know. And personally, wheree the generation that comes before us to let’s say, men in their 60s, even 70s. And they’ve never talked about mental health in their life. And then COVID happens. And all of a sudden, they’re calling their kids in their 30s 40s 50s and saying, Hey, I’ve got some issues like, I don’t think I’m okay. Or they’re not saying anything and all of a sudden they’re hospitalized with mental health or suicide attempt and nothing was ever said.
Jody Carrington 34:51
Or heart attacks or physical manifestations of an illness like cancer. Yeah, right. Like for sure.
Clint Murphy 34:58
Yeah, I lost a relative for the first time last year, and it made me realize, oh, this is starting, like, am I in the season of my life where I’m going to see more of this and then finding out at the funeral that two more relatives had health issues. And I’m just, you know, blown away what’s happening? Sure you’re in your 70s, you’re in your 80s. But all of you at the same time, coming out of COVID? How does this tie to your, to your mental? How does it tie to never having those conversations? And how do we equip that generation because it feels like of all the generations that are being hit by this loneliness. It is that generation of our elders, who are alone the most. So how do we help them? And are you seeing the same thing that I’m seeing? Or am I just see a few isolated incidents and thinking this is a global trend?
Jody Carrington 36:00
No, I think you’re right on, there’s actually a bimodal distribution of this experience of loneliness, our adolescents are off the chart in reporting. I’ve never felt this unseen. And then the elderly population. And if we think about our ability to distract ourselves, or interact with things, I mean, our physical health tends to be, you know, in our access to being able to go for a run or a walk or get outside or do all those things from that middle place. We’re so busy with work and raising kids and doing all those kind of things, when things slow down, and we don’t have that infrastructure is, you know, which is true in adolescence, which is also true. And as we age, it is that sense of I don’t know if you’ve ever even just experienced this, right? You, you think you have a busy day, you’re scheduled for example, you have three cancellations. And then you’re sort of like what the shit do I do now? Oh, right. Like, I get scared, when I’m not busy sometimes. Because it’s like, I’m not even, although I say I would just love to sit and have coffee on my deck. If that wasn’t the plan for the day. I’m like, Oh, God, what can I be doing? And so we are really in this place, I think of just being able to sit, you know, I just want you to think about like, even when I put my kids to bed at night, I bring my phone with me, because I’m laying there with them. And I just really watch, like, I just want to play a game or not like, the hardest thing we will do is sink into our people. And when we have any exit ramp, we’ll take it. I mean, Eastern philosophical practice have been so good at this. For years, anybody who’s a deep spiritual practice understands the importance of just being, of just sitting and just doing that. And we are so shitty at that. I am so shitty at that, because I’ve got things to do. And I feel so much better when I’m like, and I got to travel and I got it. I mean, of course, I’ll come home and parent this weekend. I really love the children. But I’d much prefer to be writing and speaking and doing these things. Because there is such a scariness to just sit with your thoughts. To just sit with your people, to really just, I mean, even that, four minutes of connection that we opened with today’s episode was like, why is that so hard for so many of us? Just to sit and look at the people we love. I mean, we procreated with some of these people, and we can’t even sit there and just enjoy the company of another. Like, I think about this after my grandparents played three games a crib every night, right? Can you imagine what happens when you play crib? It’s a card game. What happens when you play crib with somebody you love? You fight? Because you got to watch him,
Clint Murphy 38:26
Shit talking. And that’s the fun of the game.
Jody Carrington 38:30
But how often don’t we do that? In the evening with our children, with our partners, we tend to watch a movie. Or you know, we go out for dinner. And rarely, I mean, I just love sitting in, you know, a restaurant where the meals are, you know, $5 billion, or you’re at McDonald’s, it doesn’t matter. The same lack of interaction is prominent. And even though we think we’re engaging with each other, we go to movies or plays or whatever. I mean, I think about so much even in my parents generation, every weekend, people are getting together to play cards. That’s what we did as kids, right is that like we would watch or go camping or like I’m not a fan of the camping because I don’t understand why you slam yourself into a tin can with the people you want to throw punches at the most in your world. But my children love it. When they were always asked you know, what do you want to do if we had you know, we’re going to go on a holiday what would be all they want to do is go to the local Ramada down the street for $79 a night and stay in the same hotel room? That’s it. And they really want us to go into waterslides with him. Right? That’s it, because they know that I can’t have my phone on the waterslide and then we’re all gonna sleep together in the same room. That is their idea of bliss. Isn’t it ridiculous? And we will I took my son on a bike ride last night. And it’s so interesting. He just said to me when this is the best night of my life. He’s 10. This, this is the best night of your life. Like, you know, it just makes me want to like, give up everything. But I also know that I am happiest when I’m doing the things that I love. And so being able to balance the things, I mean, I couldn’t wait to be a parent. But it is sort of my least favorite thing to do on the planet. Because I feel so much more competent at work. I feel so much more competent, doing other things than building relationships, you know, reengaging in connection with my husband having a conversation about Okay, so what are we? This was last night? What are we doing on the holidays? Okay, you have to do this, you have to just like Jesus, I’m exhausted. I just want to watch Ozark. Like, I just want to learn somebody else’s shit show right now. And I want to talk to you. And that’s the hard part, right? We’ve never had this much data before. When people came together, they came together because they craved the experience other people, they were empty, they needed to be filled with other people’s experience. And now we’re just so inundated with data that we just want to numb and chill and disconnect. And do you see it’s such a cycle that we get to so stuck in that has to be done on purpose. And I think the answer to it all, is often about how two things dropping our shoulders, our physical body really need, we need to do this on purpose, I have to tell people, you know, put a sticky note on your computer, in your car in your bathroom mirror, put a reminder in your phone that just distract your shoulders. And every time you see that your shoulders will be up, I promise you. Because it’s not that we have lost our ability to be kind and connected and caring and beautiful human beings. We’ve lost access to it. And the whole platform that I build is around how do we get back to the best parts of ourselves. It’s not gone. Your love of people and your kindness and your creativity and you know, the ability to see the world, I have so much hope for humanity right now. I’m so excited to watch my kids grow up. Mostly because the bar is so fucking low right now. That’s the issue. Bar’s so low, it is not hard to be a remarkable human being right now, it is not hard to create a very successful organization, because the bar’s so you just be nice and people want to make out with you.
Clint Murphy 42:17
The scary part is, the bar is so low in so many areas. And I don’t know how we’ve gotten to the point where showing up, being consistent, being a good human being and doing the right thing. You do that regularly enough. And you will stand out from the crowd. What has happened to get us to this stage in the world where that’s all it takes to be extraordinary is to be a reasonably good human being over a long enough period of time.
Jody Carrington 42:54
All right, when you get emotionally dysregulated, right, you start to worry about what’s going on inside your own body. And we become very internally focused. What did I say? Do they think I’m an idiot? I’m too fat. Oh my god, I’m getting old. Jesus is that my heart rate? I think I’m having a heart attack. Oh my god, panic attack. Oh, shit. And then we focus a lot of our efforts on you know, researching that, what is that about? We’re looking at ourselves. When you’re emotionally regulated, you have so much more ability to look outside yourself, to really notice other people, to understand your ability to give a compliment or to you know, just understand that that kid with the hoodie up and the hair down would love eye contact from you. And that, in that experience, you can not only change your life, you can save it. That is where our passion comes from. You see, like, passion, right shall come to purpose. People often say to me, I don’t have any passion. I don’t have anything. You know, I don’t know what I’m excited about anymore. Everything just feel so flat. And people erroneously I think, try to search for their passion, what they used to love? The key for me is really where your purpose is. Do you know how important you are? Do you know how many people love you? Do know that just if you could get out of your house today and go to the grocery store, and give somebody a compliment or a nod. That’s the reason you’re here. That if you stepped into your organization today, and you just brought everybody Hi Chews because you know you stopped at Costco and you got a bag for $9.99. And you’re like you put a Hi Chew on everybody’s desk and they think you’re amazing, right? Remarkably, you become so powerful. And that ends up be more better for you than it is regardless of how other people receive it, or perceive it. What it does for you is what I’m interested in and it’s exponentially remarkably healing, to be able to just shift that perception from an internal focus on purpose. You can always go back there I’m not. We can always get back there. It’s okay. I’m not gonna take that away from you. Because we do need to figure out in this growth world, how we get better focusing on ourselves. But there’s so much I think on purpose that has to be done to really refocusing, on the reason we’re here. And for me the why is really just, I mean, on my hardest days, I think about this, we’re just walking each other home.
Clint Murphy 45:08
There’s power to that. And when you. So if we take a step back, I spent a couple of years in a men’s group, which was very powerful and ties to a lot of what we’re talking about, because there was this sense from a lot of the young men and a lot of people don’t know what men’s group is. And they just think, well, that sounds like a bad idea. But I think you and I would agree, it’s probably a good idea. Because what we’re there for is Yes. To find the army, so what what mens rea tends to be is you come together, and it’s a couple hours a week. And it’s helping other men be able to talk about what’s happening in their lives. And to uncover their blind spots to both push, I’d say key three key things, which are also what you want in a relationship, also what you want in a friendship plus challenge support. So we’re here to support you, we’re here to hold space for you. We’re here to push you. And we’re here to challenge you. And one of the things we talked about earlier, what you see with a lot of these young men, is an inability to recognize when they’re having mental health challenges. And so you hear a person talking, and I would often say, you know, Ted, it sounds like you’re depressed. Have you talked to someone and they are like, men don’t talk to doctors. And you just kind of say, Okay, people in the room here. How many of you have been depressed? 80% of the people put their hand up, Okay, how many of you have talked to a mental health professional, you know, 60% of them put their hand up? How many of you have taken medication for it? You know, another 50%, and your giving permission for this other man to say, well, holy shit. I thought men don’t deal with this shit. I’m not alone. You know, I’m not alone.
Jody Carrington 47:07
Right? And that’s the isolation, I’m not alone. And that comes back to this sort of idea of working from home, right? We don’t get that ability to check and balance, what this experience of life is, like, Is this hard? You know, we talk about this, as you know, in motherhood or in perimenopause, or in aging, you know, like, are other people burying their parents right now, like, Holy fuck, like, when you get to that funeral? And you’re like, oh, I’m here right? And other people are like, Yeah, me too. And my, you know, my dad’s 72. And he’s got dementia, it’s not going to be long. And I thought I had another 15 years with him. And, you know, like, all of these kinds of things. It just is like, it doesn’t make it better. There’s something to empathy. Right? It’s, you know, it’s not projection. It’s not sympathy, it’s empathy, which means I’m seeking to understand what it must be like for you. And when I it’s meeting in a place where I don’t feel alone, they’re fixing it.
Clint Murphy 48:01
It’s creating that connection, and bringing them into a group and a team in one of the things you saw that was quite common, was, to your point, a lack of purpose. And so in that, you know, because I’m a, I guess I’m a in that group, I’m a bit of an older person now being in my mid 40s. And so we’d have people all the way from 18, to my age, or even older, and I’d say the average age being 30. Nice. And there seemed to be a distinct lack of purpose. And it led to a listlessness, if you will, in a Why am I here? What’s the point? What am I doing, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I should be chasing. And it led to this malaise in life. And are you seeing that more in the younger generation than we saw in the past and in what’s leading to this lack of purpose, or something we don’t teach?
Jody Carrington 49:04
I think it’s so interesting, because we’re playing by a set of rules that were established for a world that no longer exists. So Adam Grant said this, and I really love this. I think this generation years of mine, I’m in my mid 40s, too, and I really am interested. This is the first time in the history of the world that there’s been very little role clarity, and tons of freedom. And so if I think about even, you know, Esther Perell’s work on infidelity, and, you know, trying to figure out our purpose and relationship, we’ve come from generations and even our parents where roles were really clear, you’re born a woman, this is your plan, you’re born a man, this is your plan, this is what you do. There’s very little freedom in that.Your job is to, you know, have a high paying job and look after your people or your job is to have the children and cook nice fucking bundt cakes, okay? And then you you know, kibitz about that and all the things. In one generation now. I mean, I say this to our children all the time that the conversations that we have around our kitchen table, but have never been how do you want to identify? How do you feel about you know, your role in the world? What do you want to do when you grow up? What do you want to be? Who do you want to love? And women in particular, have a massive I mean, I’m the primary breadwinner in our family. My husband is a farmer, he came from a very traditional three boys, grew up on a farm the difficulty for our parents to wrap their heads around the fact that I am on the road a lot. Who’s gonna look after the children, but they asked my husband this. Yeah. What are you going to do if they get sick? And I’m like, Well, shit, if I know he, I think he knows where the Tylenol is. ah. But they’re really concerned about the fact that this and so are we, we have this conversation as a couple all the time. Like, okay, yeah, this was fine for now. But like, what the fuck like, are you? What are you doing? Are you working? Like, what are you going to be doing? If I’m earning all this money, who then gets to spend it, these conversations are new. And when we think about getting into relationships with people who we are one generation out in the family systems that have big expectations, it’s very hard to know our roles if our role as a man isn’t now necessarily to like, provide for look after, be the alpha in the house. I’m married to a really powerful woman or another really powerful man. What is my job? Shit, I don’t know. Am I enough here? I don’t know what to do. And I think that is a huge question right now, about where do we fit? Who are we for both, for however you identify? And I think we have to just acknowledge that a little bit that that it’s, it’s okay to be in this time of uncertainty because we don’t have a script for this.
Clint Murphy 51:37
And part of that no script is some of these young men, it seems still have the expectation. Well, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. And in today’s world, what we’re seeing is young women are outperforming young men, on almost every key level, SATs scores, getting into colleges graduating from college, performance on the job. And so these young men who have been raised with, I am supposed to be this, supposed to be the breadwinner ,I’m supposed to provide for a family.
Jody Carrington 52:17
Tough and emotional. I got it. I got it. I got it. And now even the expectation, I think we are interestingly, women for such a long period of time, in an economic sense, have been oppressed in the way of like, here’s your job, and now they’re like, fucking hear me roar. There’s been no conversation about where does that leave men? And do they have an opportunity to step into a more emotional side of things, my husband is probably the best father I have ever seen. And he is so I never saw this coming. But his ability to be emotionally connected to them. I felt like I had to train him to be able to have the hard conversations. And now he’s all like taking our son for a drive and talking about emotional development. Whoa, whoa, there is such a need, a role and acknowledgement of, but we’re really in this tricky place. I would argue for women, that not only do you can you be a CEO, but you also have to come home and still look after the children and keep things organized. Right, which really leaves I would say, largely speaking men in this inability to sort of where do I fit? And we’ve had lots of conversations about I can’t do this without. Do you know how remarkable. you are with the kids? This is phenomenal. There’s such a conversation often about they just can’t wait for dad to get home. There’s tears when dad’s not here. Can you imagine right being in this place where like mom’s got it? Mom’s got it, Mom’s got it. And Mum also is the one to put them to bed and cook the dinners. What’s the fucking plan then? Right? Do you see? And I don’t know, Clint. This is just my theory. I would love your take on this. I would love to run this by the men’s group. I would love to have a conversation with like, you know, what does it feel like to be in a place where it’s not? I’m not really sure where I fit anymore? Because I think men and women both struggle with that.
Clint Murphy 53:59
Part of it is I think, to your point you raised and we said we’ve talked about is this is one of the things that’s contributing to the suicide rates for middle aged men. Is this lack of, well, where do I fit? I don’t fit. There’s no purpose for me. That’s 100. I’m not needed.
Jody Carrington 54:23
When you feel like you matter. And you have a job and you’re important to people. I mean, for sure. There’s a component of neurotransmitters that in clinical depression, we got to talk about right? Some people who even find their purpose or appear to have their purpose, still are remarkably overwhelmed with emotion and disconnect and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Right. So I think there’s a big difference. I think we got to talk about the spectrum of mental illness where clinical depression sometimes is all consuming, but I think that there is a lot of conversation in that place of like that when you feel like you matter in this world and that people need you and that you are valued and There’s a high connection then to purpose and passion.
Clint Murphy 55:03
And part of that, like, we started on the idea of emotional language and emotional skill. And we went around the horn on a number of different things. But if we bring it back to it, part of that is this idea of, and you talked about your husband and talking about it with your son, emotional development, being part of emotional intelligence, which we mentioned earlier saying, hey, women tend to be better with emotional intelligence than men. But you can learn emotional intelligence. I mean, I’ve spent the last decade becoming more emotionally intelligent, because that’s what I needed to do to move ahead in my career.
Jody Carrington 55:50
Some of the most successful men on the planet, like if you want, like a top insider trading tip, get really good at this. And you will be phenomenal in relationships and organizations, because what we need is leaders in this way, who are absolutely willing, not even good at it, but at least willing to be engaged in emotional conversations. How do I get better at this? Right? When my employees start to bawl in my office? How do I be like, Okay, here’s the three words that allow me to hold space, okay, if you want just like a really quick tip for free. Typically when emotions get big, you want to solve it, then we really struggle with emotional language, right? We want to say, Okay, how about you try this? How would you do this? How would you do this? Having an emotional language often allows us to be much better able to just hold space without fixing it, even if it’s for a beat? Five seconds, could be five minutes, if you’re really good at it. Sometimes we sit in this for days as therapists which I fucking love, but here’s the three words that allow me to hold space for a little bit, okay? Tell me more. And when somebody is upset, or disgruntled, or crying, or doing other things that you’re just like, oh, danger, tell me more. And you often will have to say, tell me more when you don’t want to know more. Okay? It will give them an opportunity to become emotionally regulated. And you to take a breath. Tell me more. These are the other a couple of phrases that I use often that allow that space too. What’s the hardest part? What am I missing? What happened next? Any of those things, allows space for emotion just to be. And I think sometimes we are often particularly as parents, but for anybody I know, we want to fix it when the people we love the most are distressed. Right? Especially when they’re grieving. Oh, at least they live to 70. At least you got to you know what, okay, let’s plant a tree. Now. How about you journal? How about we go for a run? Let’s make sure we get Tell me more? What’s the hardest part? What are you going to miss the most. And it’s scary to go there. Because we don’t know if we can handle that emotion. But remember, emotions won’t kill you, not talking about them might.
Clint Murphy 56:34
So if we take a slight step back there on this idea of holding space, because a lot of people who are listening may say what is this holding space? Like? What does holding space mean? And so can you take them through, like, what is holding space, and you talk about this important line is sometimes we need to just sit down and shut up. So and that’s the first part of acknowledgment is holding that space, sitting down shutting up being there. But what is holding space, and why is it so important in our relationships and at work?
Jody Carrington 58:42
Things like acknowledgement, empathy, holding space all get mixed up for me, okay? And empathy is the definition of empathy is seeking first to understand before being understood. The definition of an acknowledgment is an act of bearing witness to, of just noticing. And we often misinterpret this as an apology, right? For example, when we think about, you know, a land acknowledgement or we think about the cultural genocide in our country, right? Well, we’ve already apologized, the ask of indigenous peoples isn’t actually for an apology. It’s for an acknowledgment, again, and again and again. And you can’t fix some of the shit. You can’t say sorry for the cultural genocide. You good. Sorry that you have cancer. Sorry that you had to bury your child We’re looking for an acknowledgment. That is the key to healing. Tell me about her. What am I missing? Oh, my gosh, my ignorance my white privilege has got me here. Here’s what I’m, oh my gosh, tell me more. I’m learning this. I’m unlearning this. This is the ability to truly understand another human is that you don’t even have to condone or support or believe. I mean, I often I mean, this is pride month. I have lots of conversations as a straight, white able bodied woman with people that are like, what is this pronoun shit. I’m not calling somebody, they them, you’re, you got to know what you want and who you are. Listen, when people are acknowledged, they rise. And when we are in a place of being able to say, tell me more about what that feels like, explain it doesn’t mean I have to condone believe support. I’m not going to change how I show up in the world. I want to know what it’s like to be you? What does that feel like? And that is temporarily suspending judgment, which we’re really shitty at as human beings, to try to first understand what it’s like to be you. What was it like to be the CFO? And, you know, tattooed, having all these ideas? Like, what, what does that? Do you fit in this world? Like what, tell me about that, right? There’s this genuine interest that we often don’t have in other people that we are craving. In fact, I mean, I think it with this as a child psychologist, the only thing kids need to be healthy as somebody needs to be crazy about them. First, last and always. And there’s this idea of this genuine interest piece, you know, if you ever went on a second date, you generally go on the second date, because the person is like, excited to see you. That light up is something we all crave. And we all want. And if you watch airport reunions, hah people will dissolve into emotion when it’s like, ah, and it doesn’t even have to be the big hug. My father’s acknowledgment of me when he’s proudest of me looks a little like this, proud of you kid, ah my light up. If I if we ever seen each other in real life again, Clint, there would be a leg wrap. There might be you know, How you do it is not nearly as important as if you do it. And it is a massive superpower.
Clint Murphy 1:01:44
And let’s take a step back on the emotional intelligence. So for those, you know, we said you can learn it, we said we need people to learn it. But what does that look like? How do they learn it? How do they increase their emotional intelligence? And if there were two to three areas of emotional intelligence that you want someone to zone in on is some of the key early ones? What do we want them to be doing?
Jody Carrington 1:02:10
I think number one is that we’re already here talking about it. So it’s just simply an acknowledgement of the fact that I want to be better at this and understand sort of the emotions. That’s number one, you’re already here. You’re amazing, because you’re listening to a podcast like this that talks about things like that. Second, I think what becomes really critical is pay close attention to who you surround yourself with, and what books you read, how you can kind of learn a little bit more about what this looks like. I think it’s really about who you sit with, because when you sit with the winners, the conversation is different. I always think that’s true. And third, I think a lot of things like you know, Brene’s work around Atlas of the Heart, I think, you know, an ability to just to explore words, right about talking about go for a drive to get a therapist, have a conversation with somebody about like, Could you name it? Like, what does that feel like? Right? And sometimes our ability just to try those words on for size, we’ll know right away. You know, because it’s not that we don’t know the words, when I say the word shame, or joy, you will feel that very differently in your body. And so you will be able to then identify for me like is does that feel like frustration? Or does that feel like jubilation? Fuck neither. It feels actually like, I’m just like, stuck. Okay, cool. So it’s that ability. I mean, this is what the men’s group really provides, as you said, is that ability to just explore those emotions a little bit. And if you’re surrounded by a bunch of like, I know, this is very stereotypical, right? But like, hockey playing puff, I’m going to throat punch you type of conversations, it becomes very difficult, right? So who can you lean into? And often it’s women who are better at this. Who are your female friends? Who are your, you know, female, identifying friends? Who, where do you kind of sort of step into some of that emotional language or have really connected human beings who are good at this, many men are good at this. But you know, the difference between people who are and aren’t and so spend a little more time with the ones who are
Clint Murphy 1:04:02
And so one of the key things you talked about there was mom and dad, and the impact on us from an emotional and even just a life perspective. So there’s a section of your book that really resonated, because the very first thing we do in the men’s group I was in is you do a mother share, you do a father share, because it’s that relationship you have with your dad and your mom that really forms like who are you? Like, how did you get subconsciously wired? Let’s, let’s work our way through that. So you write in all the people I’ve had the privilege to counsel, I have never met a parent who didn’t love their child to the absolute best of their ability. And that ability to love, at least in part came from how they themselves were loved, which is huge. I’ve also rarely had an in depth session with anyone where their relationship with their mother or their father wasn’t mentioned. And the fact is those key relationship, regardless of how they play out, tend to matter significantly in how you show up in the world. So one key things for parents, it doesn’t matter what you do, how you do it, you will F them up. And it can be too much love, it can be too much hand holding, it can be not enough, you were at too many games, you weren’t at enough games, you picked them up too early, didn’t pick them up fast enough. So you will F them up. Part of the question is, is how do you recognize the importance of that relationship with your kids and you with your parents? Like how do we go backwards and say, Well, how did my relationship with my mom and dad impact me? And create the coping mechanisms that I have? Yeah. And how do I change them?
Jody Carrington 1:05:51
Yeah. And I think you acknowledge them, sometimes you I mean, obviously, you can’t change relationships, I can’t change that your mom was a first generation immigrant, I can’t change that your dad survived a residential school, I can’t change the fact that you’re a product of divorce, right? It’s the acknowledgment of that. How did that impact? What is the story there? And is there some grace in knowing that as parents, or as your parents or as your parenting, you’re doing the best you can with what you got? And sometimes it’s not enough. And sometimes it is more than you can ever dream of it being enough. And our job is to really figure out that we were never meant to do any of this alone. Right? And so when we sort of reflect on how our parents showed up in the world, can we have some understanding empathy, I mean, that’s, that’s the key, right? To being able to sort of forgive is understanding some pieces of like, ah, that’s their story. It’s never what’s wrong with him, it’s what happened to them, that helps you understand the context, context is a prerequisite for empathy. And that, in turn, is really where we’re at with our kids. You know, life happens. You know, many people say, I had a beautiful childhood, but I still feel fucked up. Yeah, because there are certain experiences that come in to our life that, you know, changes the course of our internal story. And that is true with our kids, too. And so I think so much about this is you’re not going to get it right. But you’re also not going to get it wrong. How do you just drop your shoulders and do your best to sort of figure out the pieces, that’s why we’re here, how can each other out.
Clint Murphy 1:07:17
And one of the key things you talked about there was forgiving our parents, and part of that, that it’s hard for a lot of people and I’m not necessarily talking about extreme situations of trauma, or abuse. Even just the average person in not an F’ed up childhood. There’s things that bother us. And that triggered us and that are PTSD, and if you will, stuck in us. And it seems that until you have your own children, it’s a lot harder to acknowledge, well, wait a second. They were young, they didn’t know what they were doing. And you said a key sentence. They did the best with what they knew. How, how important or how different was it for you, in thinking on how your parents raised you, before you had your own children, versus when you had children? And you were now going through the best that you could do with what you know?
Jody Carrington 1:08:26
Oh, that’s such a great question. I mean, I open feeling seen with this story of my parents that I never even knew they had a daughterthat were that they put up for adoption, or they adopted out and didn’t tell anybody. So they found my mom’s belly, took her to a home for unwed mothers. And then five years later, they got married and had me and they didn’t talk about her ever to anybody. I didn’t know she existed until I was 36 maybe, and my brother as well. So we had a full biological sister we had no idea about and understanding, getting knowing that information. You know, my parents later divorced, there was, you know, lots of things that happened in our system. And I still remember having such a connected childhood, there’s so many great pieces about that. But there was a sadness there. That now makes sense to me. And I think sometimes putting the pieces together a little bit. And that’s the whole purpose of therapy, right is to be able to, to understand a little bit about how this goes or what this happens, or how that all went together, allows us to have so much more empathy. And then as we focus on our own jobs as parents, I hope that we do better than the ones that come before us. And I hope my kids do way better than I do. I mean, that’s sort of the point, right, is that like, how do we grow and learn and do better be better? Given that we know more? That’s just the goal for me?
Clint Murphy 1:09:45
Absolutely. The some concepts that I love to live by simply every day better. And this idea that every generation has to be better. Yeah, you know, I have to yell way less than I was yelled at. I am way calmer than my father was. And I want my children to be able to be an even better version they ever get to this stage in their life and decide this is what they want. Yeah. And part of that is this idea of empathy and building an empathy muscle and for you, what does empathy done right look like? And what does empathy done wrong look like?
Jody Carrington 1:10:27
Oh, my goodness, that is such a great question. So empathy is a skill, right? Nobody’s born with it. You can’t give it away if you’ve never received it. Okay? And people really misunderstand this so many times, they’re like, oh, my gosh, I’m worried about this kid, he doesn’t have empathy, I’m worried about that. You can’t give it away if you’ve never received it. And empathy is truly the ability to feel seen. It is that time where people got it. And when you don’t feel like somebody has provided you with a sense of empathy or understanding, you know, it, right, if you’ve ever felt completely misunderstood, or unheard, or unrecognized. And I think the more opportunities we have to be able to, to practice the skill because it is a skill, it is so hard not to judge somebody if a kid says, you know, once you need it the most of the hardest to give it to, okay, if somebody is completely against the way that you believe in things. If you are a complete the other side of the political spectrum, and you’re trying to have an argument, that is where empathy becomes the hardest, because we feel like if we sink in or try to understand, we are condoning or supporting right, even if you have a 15 year old, they come home, they’re like, Mom, I can’t wait to go and vaping tonight, I’m going to smoke some weed because it’s not bad for your brain at all. I read all about it. Like and it’s so fucking cool. Okay, and I’m gonna go, okay, good. And our ability to have empathy in that moment is going to be really compromised, because we want to protect them. We know it’s wrong, or whatever we believe maybe we don’t maybe we’re like, yeah, come with you. Whatever the deal is, right? Our stories will really affect the way that we show up for our kids, and the people we love. And if you know, I think about this around political conversations, I think about this around, you know, you know, transgender conversations or climate change anything that is really emotionally laden. But abortion, having seeking first to understand before being understood, is the most critical skill, but it takes effort. It takes an ability to be able to sink into another person. And it’s practice.
Clint Murphy 1:12:21
I mean, that’s one of the reasons I still think Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. And something else that seems important there is this idea, so many people, whether it’s transgender rights, whether it’s gun rights, whether it’s abortion, this idea of separating the issue from the person. Vaccines, like, well, you don’t want to get a vaccine, you are a bad person. Whoa, they’re not a bad person. They’re simply a person who’s made a choice that they don’t want a vaccine. That’s one issue. You know, I want to create I want to create a graphic of a dartboard and have abortion on one side of the dartboard. Not abortion on the other, trans rights on one side, no trans in like, all these issues, and they’re all on the outside, and there’s the counterpoint, but 98% of life actually happens in the bullseye. Like everything on the outside of that dartboard that seems to consume all we talk about is probably 2% of our lives at most. For sure. Yeah, where I’d like to take it just as we get to a bit of a wrap up, because I’ve taken all your time this morning, is there’s something that you talked about that I super agree on, which is this idea that we can have kindness. And we need to pair it with boundaries, or simply not allowing the bullshit into our lives. What does that look like for you in the listeners?
Jody Carrington 1:14:08
I think that we’re, you know, Adam Grant talks about you know, we’re playing by a set of rules that were established for a world that no longer exists, that then begs the question, what are the new rules? And I think for if I could put it really simply, in my mind it is this: be kind and don’t tolerate bullshit in that order. Because it doesn’t mean everything goes, it doesn’t mean we’re just loving on everybody and everybody gets a fucking medal. I think that is the worst thing we can do. Right? If your kid plays in a lacrosse tournament or a hockey tournament this weekend, and they lose every game, they shouldn’t get a fucking medal. Because the only way we figure out how to learn futility, rejection, sadness, is we’ve to got to sit in the emotion. There’s no emotion that’s bad. And the only way you’re going to learn a boundary in my organization and our relationship as a child is when you push up against the edges. That’s how you know and somebody has to be able to say, no, no, no, no, no, back it up. That doesn’t happen in this relationship, this organization You know, this team, whatever that looks like, and so, but kindness has to be the benefit of the doubt right now because we are so disconnected. The ones who need it the most are the hardest to give it to. But it doesn’t mean everything goes. So I really love that idea right of lead with kindness, wherever you can, give people the benefit of the doubt, Seek first to understand all of those things that we’ve talked about the empathy piece of things, and then don’t fucking run walk over here, and that it has to happen in that order.
Clint Murphy 1:15:26
It’s very Canadian way to approach it. I love that. Which is probably why I identify with it so well is be kind and know when you got to drop the gloves. The which is why you also after you drop the gloves, you get off the ice and you have a beer together. And you’re like, hey, hey, yeah, sorry. Sorry, we had to punch each other and you want to share a beer and have a TimBit. The next part is we’ve talked about all the downfalls of not being connected, and some of the concepts that go into it. Whatare one or two practices that you want people to zone in on to allow them to reconnect? What are some of the drills that you say, Hey, here’s a couple of drills to practice so that you can reconnect in your life.
Jody Carrington 1:16:19
Okay, so I think there is two things that I would leave your listeners with, I think it would be totally, you know, the thing that we already talked about at the beginning of today, right, which is really just drop your shoulders, wherever you can, being able to get back in your own physical body is such a critical piece. And we don’t do it nearly enough. You know, if you are working at home, taking a second before you step back into your family system. If you get the drive on the way home, really focus on you know, not getting stuck in your head, but waving at somebody, giving somebody a compliment. Dropping the shoulders, even before you get out of bed in the morning, right? We think we’re relaxed, because we’re still laying in bed, we’re not, take that breath, and to see how you show up for the rest of the day.
And the second thing I think that is really critical is to really do your very best to sort of look at other people in your world, first of all your people, your own people, right, sending a text message today, giving a compliment to somebody today to somebody you really love. But don’t ever miss a day where you can have an opportunity to look at somebody else and just notice them that act. That goal, if you set that for yourself will allow you I know this for sure. If even in one second, you will be emotionally regulated. And you will be sort of out of that internal spin that will then become so much healthier for you. You have more access to kindness and empathy and the best parts of yourself, which is really our goal. We don’t want to create a new you or you don’t need to massively do a reset on every goal and system you ever set up, which needs to get back to the best parts of yourself. That’s it.
Clint Murphy 1:17:48
Beautiful. I love that. Thank you. And Jody, do you have time for final four rapid fire questions?
Jody Carrington 1:17:53
Yeah, let’s do fast.
Clint Murphy 1:17:54
Okay. So what is one book that you’ve read that’s had the most influence on you in your life?
Jody Carrington 1:18:00
Tuesdays with Maurey by Mitch Album,
Clint Murphy 1:18:03
Okay, I love I will have to check this out. And what are you reading right now?
Jody Carrington 1:18:07
I am finishing while I just reread Fom the Ashes by Jessie thistle. And he’s a Canadian author, an indigenous man who completely changed my way of thinking on everything on this planet. In this country in particular. That’s my favorite right now. And I also I’m rereading a couple of things, actually Atomic Habits. James Clear. I get back into that all tghe time.
Clint Murphy 1:18:30
Every decision you make is a vote for the person you want to become. Oh my God, he’s so good at languaging. What’s one thing that you’ve spent less than $1,000 on in the last year that Jody has said, Wow, I wish I bought this sooner.
Jody Carrington 1:18:50
Ooh, god dammit. Probably a really good pair of running shoes.
Clint Murphy 1:18:56
Nice. Nice. What brand do you favor?
Jody Carrington 1:18:59
Hokas are my favorite right now.
Clint Murphy 1:19:01
I have about eight pairs. So. Oh, yeah, I used to run I had a run streak. I ran every single day for one and a half years and I worked my way up to like Ultras, and I had I had like, trail Hokas I had Road Hokas.
Jody Carrington 1:19:16
So I ran the Death Race twice. Do you know the Death Race?
Clint Murphy 1:19:20
Is that the Alberta one? I think I want it to sign up for it but I never ended up going there.
do a leg of it. You don’t have to run the whole thing. I have only done two legs. I think in my career. My husband’s going to do it again this year. Just a leg of it. And it is like the coolest Ultra Trail race you’ve ever been in in your life. Nobody dies, but like they come close. And it’s like it is such a culture as you know, of trail Ultra racing that I just I loved. I was shitty. I was like barely can I drag my ass across the line but I loved it.
Clint Murphy 1:19:48
Yeah, there’s something about the trails Jodi that I think you’d appreciate this. This idea that it reminds like it brings you back to childhood. Because like you’re jumping routes and you have to pay attention and be mindful and you step in mud and like you’re a kid again.
Jody Carrington 1:20:03
Yeah, totally, totally. I love it instead of like a road race, where it’s like Baba Baba, I’ve done another half marathons, I’ll only do trail races. Now I say that like I’m running currently, but this is in this is my plan with my new Hokas is to be able to get back into that.
Clint Murphy 1:20:18
Yeah, I want to restart again. So I’m with you and because this show is about growth. What’s one habit shift, mindset shift behavior change that you’ve had in your life that has had a significant impact on you.
Jody Carrington 1:20:33
You can’t tell people how to be great. You have to show them. And I think often I worry about whether I’m being enough for my husband for my kids, am I a good daughter, and I have to live my best life. That’s full stop. Because I can’t tell them how to be great, I have to show.
Clint Murphy 1:20:48
And when you’re great by living your best life. You’re showing them what they can do when they live their best life. I love that as a way to as a way to wind it up. And we went pretty wide. We went pretty deep. Is there anything that we might not have covered that you want to make sure you leave the listeners with.
Jody Carrington 1:21:07
No, Clint. I thought that was awesome. What a great conversation. You’re a phenomenal. Interviewer I hope your listeners loved it.
Clint Murphy 1:21:14
I hope so too. That was very fun. I really appreciated having the conversation and having you on today. Where can they find you?
Jody Carrington 1:21:21
And DrJody carrington.com. And the books are in you know, Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and everywhere that you can get a book. And so yeah, I would love to have your community a part of ours.
Clint Murphy 1:21:31
Yeah. And so we’ll get all of that in the show notes. We’ll get all your socials in the show notes so people can find you. Hit up the show notes and you’ll be able to find Dr. Jody Carrington. Thank you very much for joining me and enjoy the rest of your day.
Jody Carrington 1:21:44
Thank you, you too.