Opposing Views can Support our Growth

It's fundamentally challenging to change and grow our own opinions and beliefs without the interaction of other people. Trusting another person to have deeper discussions about things that matter, helps us decipher what's most important to us and why.  How often do we trust ourselves to have deeper discussions with those that think differently?  Choosing to do so helps us develop our own awareness, feelings and self confidence.

April 27, 2021
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Melissa Albers  0:00  
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long in features your hosts, JJ Parker, and Melissa Albers. JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years.

JJ Parker  0:19  
So Melissa, I've been playing tennis for a few years with this guy named Tom. I met him just out at the tennis club playing tennis, like we play drills together, and we kind of started running into each other. And I've been getting to know him over the past few years. And it's been super fun. It's kind of like a, like a new friendship kind of emerged out of us playing tennis, and it's kind of like, evolved into the spot where like, we basically play tennis every single week. And we go out to dinner, like double dates with our wives and

Melissa Albers  1:00  
nice. That's nice.

JJ Parker  1:02  
Yeah, it's been super fun. And like any good dude relationship, like we go hit tennis balls, do some chitchat, you know, in the locker room after and then like, go our separate ways. But more recently, we've actually been talking a little deeper about things. Right. I, we started kind of talking about his faith, and sort of our universe views. He recently started at church. Oh, that was very interesting. I. So between our tennis sets, we'll get into this like, deep spiritual conversation, and then we'll go right back to hit a tennis

Melissa Albers  1:52  
as you do,

JJ Parker  1:53  
as you do, but it's been pretty, it's been pretty interesting for me to explore this with him because he started a church as a Baptist Church. And oh, okay. So he has got, you know, he's he. So he has got a faith and a religion that he follows, right? Yes. And he's very passionate about I mean, he's passionate about it so much that he started this organization, which is totally awesome. Like, yeah, like, I was just I was amazed by what what he was doing there. But in the course of us kind of exploring that he was asking me like, well, JJ, what's your what's your worldview? Or what's your universe viewer? Yeah. What's your what's your faith? And I thought that was really interesting. Because, I mean, obviously, I wanted to share with him what my my view was. And that's probably like many of the listeners probably picked up already. I'm not religious, classically religious like that. Right. We don't go to church. I don't follow a faith like that. I do have a very, I feel like I have a pretty developed universal view, spiritual view, I think things are, but they don't fit into any of those buckets, right? or Are any of the classic maybe Western buckets that you can't just say, like, hey, JJ, things like, like this kind of, you know, like, he's Catholic. Yeah, right. I can't say that. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so what it got me thinking about was when I was when I've been talking with Tom, who's got a very different view than I do. Yes. We're exploring each other's views of the world, which has been super awesome. Yeah. But it started me thinking about like, how it was, it's been really helpful for me. Yeah. Explain my views to Tom. Because it helps me understand myself better.

Melissa Albers  4:07  
Oh, interesting. I didn't expect you to say that. What I thought you were gonna say is, it's been helpful for you to explain your views to Tom because it's helped Tom understand. Other views. That's what I expected you to say. But what you said is it helps you understand your view.

JJ Parker  4:24  
Yeah, it probably has helped Tom when

Unknown Speaker  4:28  
he meant some

JJ Parker  4:29  
Yeah. But if I'm just kind of looking in on myself, right. Yeah, I've found it extremely helpful. And I was, I was actually just explaining this idea is like, do we need other people to help us understand what we think? Right? If I was just sitting alone, for years on end, just thinking to myself, which as an introvert sounds kind of awesome.

Melissa Albers  5:00  

JJ Parker  5:03  
Would that actually be a fruitful exercise? Like, would I actually be able to know what I think without talking it through with other people, or at least seeing other views, or maybe even saying seeing the same views but helping develop a dupe other people help us develop our own views?

Melissa Albers  5:23  
That's really interesting. I, I feel like, you know, like, in the example that you're using, particularly, because Tom is a Baptist minister, the Baptist religion is one of the more traditional ones, right? So there's a lot of doctrine, there's a lot of studying, there's, you know, there's a lot of really deep rich roots in the Baptist world. And, and actually what you believe, more on the eastern philosophies more, you know, I don't know if you would call it Buddhism, if you would call it you know, what you would call it,

JJ Parker  6:01  
I call so that

Melissa Albers  6:02  
we don't have to, and we don't even have the labels don't matter, the labels don't matter. But what I was gonna say is that Eastern philosophy is also highly indoctrinated, right? Like both sides have really, really, really deep, rich roots. But here in America, we don't really know about that other stuff. So it feels a lot more loosey goosey, right, so there's less people. And and I think, in the last several years, there's more and more that we can read about, there's more and more on, you know, the eastern philosophies, it's becoming much more mainstream. But I think you're right, like a lot of the times, when we're trying to understand our own opinions about it, it's having to sort of weigh this idea in our own head. And then how does that idea make us feel to come to our own conclusions? Right. And I feel like there's been a lot of times in my life, as a matter of fact, I just reengaged with one of my coaches, because I felt like I'm at a stage of some of the things that I'm thinking about that I don't exactly know how I feel about them, either. So this is a really interesting idea. And well timed, actually.

JJ Parker  7:08  
Why is it well timed?

Melissa Albers  7:09  
Well, just because, you know, I just feel like you and I, with the self awareness journey, we're building some really amazing things. And we have been for several months, but it's becoming more formed. Like we're, we're getting more and more excited about being specific about what we can do for the world. And I think that that we are constantly checking in with ourselves is does this feel right? Is this the right way for us to be? Is this the right way for us to be thinking about things right now? How do I feel about those things? And I think it'd be super hard to have all that formulated opinion without having any conversation about it, because we talk about it all the time.

JJ Parker  7:51  
Yeah, right. Every week, in fact,

Melissa Albers  7:54  
every week, like right now, even even right this minute, how cool

JJ Parker  8:00  
that the other thing that happened when, when Tom and I decided together like we were going to kind of explore this topic, right, like first. Yeah, I was very intentional with him. And in the way that I say, hey, Tom, like, I love our friendship. And I know that you and I are, like, have a good enough. Like a really good intent with exploring this topic. Like this has been explored out of love and for understanding sake. Yeah. Not out. Not for any other like double conversions reserved,

Melissa Albers  8:35  
and no conversation, and you're not for sure he's not going to convert. Well, maybe not. Yeah, maybe. That's great.

JJ Parker  8:48  
But so we'd be kind of chatting like, Hey, we should like really sit down. And so we actually decided, like, hey, let's go get coffee, which is not our normal thing. are normal things. Let's go play tennis. But let's go get coffee and what what that caused for me was like, Okay, I've got now two weeks to actually try to figure out how am I going to explain to Tom what I think Oh, right. So I actually had a bit of time to prepare for that kind of conversation.

Melissa Albers  9:25  
Wow. Which is that's really nice. Most people wouldn't

JJ Parker  9:29  
write sometimes Apple into it. Yeah, yeah, like, right. Well, sometimes you like, straight up brick wall into it. Actually, another story about time, I'm gonna have to tell son, Tom, this podcast because like, at this point, this whole thing about him. One time was, um, we were in the locker room, and I had been sharing some of like, the struggles we're having as parents. I'm with him because he Oh, he's got kids and right. You know, it's

Unknown Speaker  9:54  
and he's administer that whole

JJ Parker  9:56  
situation. But he's not actually a minister. I don't think he's not. Okay. All right.

Melissa Albers  10:01  
Okay, okay, okay, sorry.

Unknown Speaker  10:02  
He's the founder of the church.

Melissa Albers  10:03  
Okay, that's good.

JJ Parker  10:06  
So Oh, no. So we're just hanging out. And we're about to leave. And he goes, Hey, JJ, as you know, like, you know, I've got this deep faith, and I pray for you. And I was wondering if there's something specifically you want me to pray for you about? And that was a brick wall moment for me. I'm like, Whoa, what? Wow. Like, like, Is this like? I don't know how to respond to that. What I can right here. Yeah. And it was absolutely so kind. And actually what I told him, I was like, Tom, thank you so much. Like, let's talk about that last next week, because I really appreciate that gesture. I don't exactly know how to ask her right now. Yeah. There. So that was me trying to like, but that was sometimes those conversations here, right? You just hit? Yes. straight on. Yeah. And you're not expecting them. This one is, that was the second one I was talking about here is like nice, because I did have time to prepare to prepare my thoughts. And the thing I like about that is, and actually and this podcast, and this is something that I think is really interesting for people to do. Like everyone can do this. It's it's being intentional about having these kinds of conversations.

Melissa Albers  11:33  
Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah. Yeah.

JJ Parker  11:36  
One of one of my friends. Joe, he actually I was asking him about how to make a podcast like, before we started, I was asking him how to make a podcast, cuz he's like an audio guys. And he's got like, all the microphones, right? This guy's got a

Melissa Albers  11:54  
podcast, favorite people in the world.

JJ Parker  11:57  
Right? Yeah. And he goes, Oh, yeah, I, my, my wife and I make a podcast. It's like, really? He's like, Yeah, but we don't release it. We just record it. I was like, tell me what, like, why would you do that? Right. And he goes, the thing is, JJ, is when you sit down, and you're both in front of microphones, and you present a topic to talk about, and you hit record on the computer. You are very thoughtful and intentional about that conversation. That's true. And it's a wonderful thing to do with your spouse is be in a conversation that is that intentional? Yes. And I thought that was like the

Melissa Albers  12:42  
most beautiful thing I know. That's Joe for you. Right?

JJ Parker  12:46  
Yeah, it's like simple and truth. Anyone could do it. And it's beautiful. And it's not that you need all the recording equipment, you know, what is saying is more basic than that. It's like, we're all running around with jobs and kids and a gajillion things to do. And but are we taking that time to be intentional about conversations? So we're understanding each other at a, at a deeper level?

Melissa Albers  13:13  
Well, and coming back to the idea that you are talking about at the very beginning of our conversation, which is, by having conversations like this, it's helping you understand yourself. And that's a really interesting idea. And I don't think we often at least, I don't usually think about it like that, you know, but it's true. Like, I think sometimes, you know, we have a sort of a niggling or a feeling about something or we sort of have an opinion, but we're really not sure we don't have confidence in the opinion that that's how we really think or feel. And, you know, I always say when you just talk to yourself, you're just running a race track, and you just go around the circle over and over and over again. And you don't actually know if the story is 100% what you want it to be, I think there takes it, it takes some faith and trust in yourself. So it's like there has to be some level of your own trust in yourself to be able to talk with other people to have these kinds of deeper discussions.

JJ Parker  14:18  
Right. So sometimes if we don't really know what we think, yeah, right, right. It's kind of like you're on a little like fishing expedition. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Rolling ideas, little ideas out there. Right. Yeah, seeing what what bites, but you're right, like, part of it takes some some confidence, right? Like, or actually, maybe more takes like vulnerability. Because in a conversation where you're trying to figure out what you think that's good, you, the fear is that you're wrong, or that you haven't thought it through enough or that what you're thinking is stupid or like all sorts of judgments you're putting on yourself. Right? Right. Right. So it's scary. You do that? Yes, for sure. Scary.

Melissa Albers  15:05  
And you know, that I think right there because you use a really important word that it was coming up for me actually, at the same time, but you know, opposite direction. So you said fear, you know, the vulnerability of I'm going to actually say something to this person. But so often I think we don't, because we're fearful of what they will say will make us feel bad, or that we will feel wrong if their opinion does not match ours. Yeah. And that's the sad. That's a sad truth. I think for lots of us.

JJ Parker  15:38  
Yeah, that it reminds me that that pod we did quite a while ago about like, validating, almost, I called validating, validating your

Melissa Albers  15:47  
validations or something.

JJ Parker  15:53  
Right, because sometimes if, if you put your opinion and your feelings out there, yeah. And they're not validated. Yeah, that doesn't feel good. No. Right. But that doesn't mean that they're wrong. That it just right. It's, there's a, there's an interesting interplay happening here that we're exploring, right? Yeah, for sure.

Melissa Albers  16:13  
Because Because it what you just said is, if you put your feelings out there, and they're quote, wrong, according to the other people, then it makes you feel bad. However, what if you put your feelings out there feeling pretty confident that your feelings aren't wrong, but you're just trying to get an opinion to, to further develop the idea, right, and the opinion doesn't match yours. If it's coming from someone that you trust and love, and you know, they support you, then don't you feel like you can be a lot more in in the game, so to speak, or you don't feel like you have to defend or protect yourself, you can just be more.

You know, you could just be more transparent, you know, like, I'm exploring like, exactly what you do with Tom, like, you knew him long enough, where you sort of you trusted him, you trusted his his own self ability, you know, or you trusted his own way he is enough to then trust a friendship with him and know that whatever he did say that he would be doing it with the best of intention, regardless of what he said.

JJ Parker  17:19  
Yep, yeah, for sure.

Melissa Albers  17:22  
So it's almost like it's almost like you're the when you do seek that. And I think you're right. So often, it's important for us to seek valuable feedback from other people. But it's really important who you're choosing right, like and why.

JJ Parker  17:38  
And, yes, that is important. It Yep. That is certainly important. I would actually bring it so far as to say that we have that same fear with people that we do intimately trust, like our spouses, or our friends or our best friends. Yeah. Like, and you talk about being like your authentic self, right? Like, there, there are definitely, still still in your brain, even though you've maybe you've been in a relationship for a long time, and there is like, a lot of trust there. You might, you still might have thoughts that you want to explore that. Maybe you think they're embarrassing, you are ashamed of them? Maybe like, you know what I mean? Like it might be against? They might be like, contrary to the way you've been for a long time. Like, maybe your opinion is changing over time. And, and, and how do you explore that with someone who's got an image of you that's different than maybe the thing you're exploring? You know what I mean? Like, yeah, I think there's a lot of, of, like, feelings in there that, that people need to explore in themselves, as they understand, like, as like having these conversations and effort to understand themselves better.

Melissa Albers  19:12  
Yeah, I agree. And, you know, it just popped up as you're talking about, it's the actor self that we go to right there. You know, that's the verse versus the authentic self. That's exact spot right there, where we go to that actor self. So we may have something that's very pressing inside of us, that is really meaningful and wants to come out in some way because it needs to grow or be explored more. And we hop into that actor self if we're afraid or feel too vulnerable, that it wouldn't be well received.

JJ Parker  19:44  
Yeah. Right. It might not be the that was the other thing that I was thinking about was that like, in some, in a lot of cases, what I might think is like, hey, if I if I actually start exploring topic was somebody I don't want to offend them. Right? I forgot. Like, there's a little bit of that too, like, Well, what I offend the other person? Right? Yeah.

Melissa Albers  20:13  
Yeah. I was listening to. I was listening to a podcast yesterday and the person was talking about lying. You know, like how it's easy to judge other people, we often will judge other people. And it's easiest to judge other people in the exact same things that we judge ourselves. That's usually what's happening. And the particular example being used was lying when people lie, and how much it bothers you when someone lies and and you just you want to just be so mad at them. Like why do they lie? And and then you start thinking back? Well, wait, there's, there's times where I lie to I've done that. I don't like to lie. I don't do it very often. But there have been times and Isn't that interesting? When have I lied? Well, I've lied when I've known something that I was going to say, would not be well received by the other person. And I didn't want them to feel bad. Yeah, right.

JJ Parker  21:08  
Yep. Those are like all the like, millions of little white lies that Yeah, tell all the time. Right. Yeah. And what we like to talk about is all like all the lies you tell to yourself. Those white lies. I don't know what those are. Oh, that's, that's a whole nother topic. Yeah. Self deception. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  21:30  
Oh, I'll add that to our list.

JJ Parker  21:31  
Yeah, we have a fancy word for saying you lie to yourself.

Melissa Albers  21:38  
I just think it's funny. Like before we were recording this, you know, normally, like for the listeners, we have a topic chosen a couple of days beforehand. And this morning, it was like, wait a minute, what are we talking about? And we went to the list, and we realize there must be 30 topics on that list as opportunities for us to have conversations. I'll add it to the list. Good white lies.

JJ Parker  22:06  
Well, exploring this idea, like, again, just exploring this idea that we often need other people to help us. Yeah. Know what we think that the other thing you had mentioned earlier, was the the self awareness journey. Right. And this idea that early on in our journey, it might be more important to be able to bounce things and ideas and your and your thought processes off another person. Yeah. Early in the journey than it is later in the journey. Yeah, like, Yeah, what were you thinking? They're like, yeah, explore that

Melissa Albers  22:48  
I was the reason that I had said something around that is because when we are first learning how to become a more aware of ourselves, I think we're coming from a place of kind of avoiding ourselves, you know, like, if I have feelings that I don't like, I just push them away and go do something else like,

JJ Parker  23:07  
like, Is that is that afraid of self avoidance?

Melissa Albers  23:09  
Yes, it's,

JJ Parker  23:10  
I know, avoid myself all the

Melissa Albers  23:11  
time, I, I've had a lot of experience, just avoiding who I really was. And now I really like who I am. And I'm glad that I took the time to figure it out. But I think that when we're in that stage, you know, of like, Okay, this is too painful for me to think about. So I'm gonna just go do something different, like, I don't want to be with myself, because I don't know who I'm gonna meet. And that's a really scary, okay, so I think at that stage of the game, when you have the, and that point, it is a little courageous and showing vulnerability, which we always say the most, the most courageous people are those that are vulnerable. So I guess we're talking about the same thing to start talking about, you know, your experience with what you have been, and, and what it is that you want to be and really not having ideas on what that means, you know, so that's a that would be an example of, of how you're not really sure of how you think and you start to ask people questions like, how do you know yourself? What do you do? Like, what what have you done when you felt that you've been avoiding certain parts of who you are, like, in that kind of spirit of conversation? You're, you're not really well formed in a lot of your opinions yet, but you're seeking it like you want to have an opinion about it, but you're really not sure just an idea. So I think in early stages of that journey, we really do need people to talk things through and that, you know, you see a lot of people doing big seminars and that sort of thing. I think that's what's that's all about, as you become more self aware, I think you start having a deeper understanding of yourself. So the things that you ponder are not as superfluous, you know, there's there are a lot, it's a lot deeper and it's more meaningful for you. And you'll begin to have more understanding of the deep core being who you really are. So then the things that you do choose to talk about really change. And I would guess, at least for me, the people that I choose to talk about it with also has really, really changed a lot. But my my conversations like when you and I talk about something, we could have really opposing views, we haven't really hit that much, but sometimes,

JJ Parker  25:17  
but but even on, they're coming up on the list

Melissa Albers  25:20  
there. The hidden list, there's also a HIPAA as of like, 85 things. But you know, like, at this stage of the game, if I want to explore an opinion or idea I'm having, I come at it with you, for example, as an exploratory discussion, like what we often do, so I don't feel vulnerable, because I feel safe enough knowing that I trust myself now. I trust myself, but I'm really curious to build off of this like, wow, wouldn't that be cool to go into partnership to think about something and if this could be something even more than what I'm feeling inside? So I think your opinions and your feelings and and how you feel safe and valued changes over the course of your, your self note your knowingness?

JJ Parker  26:09  
Yep. Yeah, that's interesting. Okay, two, I two other thoughts. When we started, we're like, can we actually talk about this topic for long enough? Yeah, here we are. Right. I

Unknown Speaker  26:19  
know, I always

JJ Parker  26:21  
the other thing that I am always fascinated with, when we start trying to when we start getting into these topics that are deeper, right? Like, like, like, our view of the universe, right? This is, yeah, deep topic, and how we feel about it, and our connection and all of the stuff and religion and, you know, God, and yeah, these things that are hard to explain, I always come back to this, this idea that, like, language is an abstraction of your feelings. That's right. That means like, like, the language never will be able to truly articulate to another person, how you feel true, because of words like that, it that we just don't have all of the words that explaining the shared, your like, language is just like a, like,

Melissa Albers  27:13  
art art. Video, right? Yeah, it's an art tool.

JJ Parker  27:18  
So exploring what you're thinking, using words with another person helps you actually try to get the right words in the right orders to get as close to how you're feeling as possible, right. That's like it's an exercise in sort of refining the articulation of how you're feeling. Which, like, again, as an introvert, I put a lot of value in like, the thing that comes out of my mouth is the accurate description of what I'm feeling. Got it? Yeah, that's an that's probably different for an extrovert because generally you're like, talking to think, yeah, but I do well, by thinking and then, like, what comes out should be like gold. Right? Yeah. But that's not the case when we're exploring topics that are hard to understand or articulate. So us introverts actually do have to talk it out a little bit. And it might, it feels awkward, because it's wrong a lot. Yeah, I don't like talking when I'm feel like it's not what I truly mean. You know what I mean? Yeah. Does that make sense? Yeah, totally. It totally makes sense.

Melissa Albers  28:21  
Yeah, it totally makes sense. It's part of creation. You know, like, I've, I've been kind of thinking about this idea. And, and in the last couple of weeks, especially, that we're always creating, like, You showed me that you've been teaching me this for years and years, we're never done creating. And if we really, truly believe that, then it's never actually done. And if it's never actually done, we don't have to worry about perfection.

JJ Parker  28:45  
Yeah, that's true. Yeah. I like that.

Melissa Albers  28:48  
Yeah. We're never done creating ever done. It's always in creation, which means it's never done, which means it's never perfect. Yeah. I think this this idea of knowing ourselves and being in partnership with other people to, to have conversations and have thinking partners to help us know ourselves better. That's never done either, because there's always further to go.

JJ Parker  29:09  
Yeah. Yeah, that's awesome. Well, we should wrap it up. Yeah, this is super fun. Big thanks to my my tennis friend, Tom, for Thanks, Tom, being my thinking partner and helping me understand myself better. That's awesome.

Melissa Albers  29:24  
We hope that you've enjoyed today's episode. Our mission is to help people become happier and more effective by gaining insight into their own thoughts and feelings. We'd love your support. First, share this podcast with anyone you think might enjoy it. Second, leave us a rating or review on your favorite podcast site. This helps others discover the podcast so we can reach more people. And third, sign up for our newsletter at the self awareness journey.com. This will help us communicate better with you and build our community. Thank you so much for joining us in the self awareness journey. We'll see you next week.

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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