A Banner Year by Bruce Banner

Have your friends, coworkers or family ever made you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? Sometimes it happens pretty directly — you’ll be doing something you love, or acting in a way that feels natural to you, and those around you will judge you for it. Other times, it can be a little more discreet: you might preemptively dress a certain way around your parents to avoid their ridicule, or maybe you don’t talk about your job with your older sibling because they’re jealous of your career success. 

Situations like these are enough to make most of us scratch our heads and think, “who the heck am I, really?” If we’re always changing our personality traits for the people around us, can we ever really have a solid foothold on our true values, morals and beliefs? What’s more, if our closest relationships only exist because we act a certain way to maintain them, are those connections actually authentic?

These are big questions, and they’re exactly the kinds of conundrums our coaching client is going through today. His name’s Bruce, and he’s part of a crime-fighting group of superheroes called the Avengers… kidding, of course. Bruce is… just an average guy going through average problems. He feels like he has two personalities: on the one hand, he’s a smart, thoughtful and compassionate person who values science and human connection. On the other hand, he’s a tough, strong and resilient person — one who can also be emotionally distant, headstrong and stubborn as all get-out. 

Bruce finds it tiring to have to constantly switch between his two sides, but it’s his only way of maintaining the relationships he currently has. He’d like find some way to be accepted for who he is, but that seems nearly impossible in his current state. As such, he’s written to us — your friendly neighborhood Character Coaching coaches — in search of help.

Let’s see if we can help Bruce (and anyone struggling with finding acceptance!) tackle some of his identity issues. 

Bruce’s first journal entry: what kind of guy am I?

Entry One:

They want the big guy…they want the smart guy. They want the big guy…they want the smart guy. I need some balance here! Not so long ago, I was doing the work I wanted to do in a country where people saw me for my intelligence. The doctor. Someone who can heal and make the world better. Then this group of ‘heroes’, who I think are my friends, always seem to find a way to lure me in to turn me into the other guy. The big guy. The strong guy. The one who can withstand any beating. But I don’t like that side of me so much, it’s a part of me that I can’t reconcile. It’s a part of me that hurts too many people. I wish I could use my smart guy self to figure a way out of this jam, but I know I am doomed to this cycle.” — Bruce B.  

First impressions: smart guy, strong guy 

Well, well, well. What do we have here? To us, this looks like a classic case of someone with two totally distinct personalities — ones that, at surface level, don’t exactly intersect. In a lot of ways the conundrum Bruce is describing is relatable, because most of us have this kind of duality to us. We have our tough exteriors that we put on for certain friend circles… but underneath that veneer is an intelligent, emotional person who wants to explore other parts of themselves.

For most of us, struggling with how we show up in the world can be a serious challenge. Sometimes it makes sense to bring different aspects of our personalities to different situations: we’re serious at work, funny with our friends, romantic with our partners, and loving toward our families. Nothing wrong with that, right? 

But what if the people around us are trying to make us into someone we don’t want to be? What if our friends and family expect us to show up in ways that feel inauthentic or tiresome? That seems to be what Bruce is experiencing right now, and the weight of that really seems to be dragging him down. In fact, he feels so trapped that he refers to his situation as being “doomed to this cycle.” 

That sounds pretty dire, doesn’t it? In order to help Bruce confront his problems and break free from this “cycle,” we’ll need a little information about him. We don’t want to just dump a bunch of general advice on him (nor would we do that to you if that’s what you’re struggling with), so instead we’re going to ask some very specific questions about Bruce’s situation. 

For us, we’d probably ask what this “cycle” really feels like to Bruce. What’s the experience of having to code switch on command? Moreover, is there ever any overlap between these two personalities, or are they distinct and completely separate? And finally, what would “balancing out” these two halves of himself look like to Bruce? 

Let’s write these questions up formally, and pose them to Bruce. Here goes nothing!


  1. What does the cycle feel like?
  2. Does the “smart” guy ever show up or shine through when you’re being the “strong” guy? Do your two defaults ever intersect?
  3. Define what balance means to you. What does balance mean to your peers?
Bruce Banner and Smart

Next: smart guy, meet strong guy  


Very interesting! Where did you study, Jonathan? The cycle hurts because I can feel the change happening and I physically try to force the change down, but it never works. I always turn into him and it’s impossible to change. Balance to me would be taking on both sides of the personality. The good, the bad…the green…. but just together, instead of this constant flux. My ‘friends’ only want one or the other. They want the smart Bruce or the green guy. So what do I do, coach? Do I live my life in these states or is there a possibility that I can have just one personality?”


After reading this journal, it feels pretty clear that Bruce is experiencing some classic “schoolyard” heckling — his friends want him to act a certain way, despite whether that’s who Bruce really is. It’s akin to your childhood “friends” telling you to do something embarrassing in class to make them laugh, when you’re the one who ends up getting written up for it. 

Here’s the thing about friends like that: if they demand you show up a certain way in front of them, and don’t tolerate it when you don’t, then they’re not really your friends, are they? The opposite is true of coworkers. If you’re treating your coworkers as your friends, that’s fine, but it’s important to remember that your goal together is to get work done and get paid. When a coworker behaves in a way that’s not necessarily representative of a strong friendship, it shouldn’t be surprising that they’ve decided to act like that — after all, your relationship is probably secondary to the success of your business. 

It's becoming a little more clear that Bruce’s challenges lie mostly in how others see him, and how painful it is to shift between different circles. But rather than focus on the “flux” Bruce is feeling, it might be better to lean into his two different sides, and allow him to experience the best of both worlds. Is there a way to show up as both people around his friends and still be tolerated? Can he get work done as both the strong guy and the smart guy?

Put another way, we’d love to ask Bruce… could you indulge in both sides of your personality and “marry” the two of them so that you feel more at home in your own skin? And is there a way to shut down your friends or coworkers when they ask you to act in a way that you’d rather not?

One more thing before we move on: there’s a concept in coaching called accepting vs. tolerating, which means letting go of some of the anger of your present situation — we’re curious to know if Bruce could learn to accept, or at least tolerate, that he’s two people all mixed up in one. What might letting go of that anger feel like? And what would a world where his friends accept him for that look like?

Let’s write up our follow-up questions and see how Bruce feels about them. 

Follow-up Questions: 

  1. There’s this concept in coaching of tolerating vs. accepting, and you live your life in this state of anger towards the transition and what you’ve become. What would it look like if you accepted the other side of you…or at least tolerated it?
  2. Do you feel that your friends only like you for your intelligence & strength? Or do you believe that if you shared what you really felt that they would be ok with it?

The check-in: the smart guy AND the strong guy

Closing Journal:

Maybe if I just tried some yoga…. Am I right? I could spend some time away from my friends and all of the noise and do some research. That’s how I got into this in the first place. What’s interesting to me is that I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to fix what I don’t like about ‘the big guy’ instead of just accepting or tolerating that he's a part of me.”


This is a great closing journal for multiple reasons. The first reason is that we actually haven’t directly solved Bruce’s problems. It might sound crazy that we’re calling that “great,” because finding a solution is the point of coaching, isn’t it?

Wrong! In truth, looking for immediate solutions is sort of a black and white way to examine and address the problems in peoples’ lives. Rather than dismiss their challenges as easily solved, it’s better to help people who are struggling take baby steps toward thinking about their unique difficulties in new ways. Just as going to the gym once isn’t going to make you a top-tier athlete, a few journaling sessions aren’t going to turn you into a poster-child for perfect mental health. So we’re glad that concept is on display here!

However, despite Bruce’s journey being far from over, we have made some considerable strides in his path toward self-acceptance. Rather than getting annoyed that he has to show up as the “strong guy” sometimes, Bruce is learning that that’s just a part of who he is, and people like that about him.

More than that, Bruce is tackling his challenges with his friends in new ways. Rather than getting passive-aggressively annoyed that they don’t tolerate him for who he is, he’s taking a step back to reexamine what his relationships with his friends really mean to him. What does he want out of his friendships? And will taking a hiatus allow him to reflect and return as a new version of himself that’s both smart AND strong?

We don’t have the answers to these questions just yet, but it’s extremely promising that Bruce is looking at all sorts of new possibilities. We don’t have time to keep journaling with Mr. Banner at the moment, but we’re quite sure that down the road, he’s going to be showing up very differently in front of his friends, his coworkers and… most importantly… himself. 

If you can relate to what Bruce is going through, you might want to give us a shoutout. We can help you sort out how you’d like to be seen by your friends, family, coworkers and more. And while we CAN’T promise you’ll come out of the coaching process as an iconic genius with the muscle density of a 1,200 pound ox… we CAN promise you’ll have a better outlook on your daily life as a result. 

Check us out if that sounds up your alley!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jon Rom: Character Coaching is an exploration coaching principles applied to fictional characters by the host. Any likeness to real people or situations is coincidental. And none of the advice given is intended to take the place of real coaching. Learn more about getting accessible coaching at thejournalthattalksback.com.

[00:00:21] Jonathan Friedman: I'm Jonathan

[00:00:22] Jon Rom: and I'm John and this is Character Coaching coaching

[00:00:29] Jonathan Friedman: character ching ching ching, ching

[00:00:39] Jon Rom: Jonathan today completely serious episode. This is our serious episode.

[00:00:46] Jonathan Friedman: So no witty banter.

[00:00:48] Jon Rom: Nobody banter no characters. Uh, no, no when to go, no Sasquatch, no. Uh, no nugs just completely serious professionalism. Um, and starting right now.

[00:01:07] Jonathan Friedman: The professionalism starts right now.

[00:01:10] Jon Rom: Yes.

Now, like we're going to be all serious, all coaching.

Uh, we're going to, we're going to get down to business. No fluff, no more fluff. We're just being serious.

[00:01:26] Jonathan Friedman: So no flush, no flush, no fluff. No, no. W what's Wendigo? I just want to make sure I understand what you need in, in this episode.

[00:01:37] Jon Rom: You see, I see, I see, I see what you're trying to do here. Now. I see what you're trying to do here.

Cause I'm gonna start talking about what a Wendigo is and then you're going to go off on some tangent and we're just gonna, we're going to be silly, goofy guys, but not today. No silly goofy guys. This is a serious episode.

[00:01:52] Jonathan Friedman: No goobers, no Wendigos , no Sasquatch. Got it. None of that. None of that silliness.

[00:01:59] Jon Rom: So, so what's a serious thing that you want to discuss before we get into the what's a serious topic that we can discuss.

[00:02:06] Jonathan Friedman: Well, I mean, uh, my, my neighbor who had the bird fly into their house, they were pretty upset about it. They, uh, the bird-like kinda tore apart their curtains. That was a big deal. Um, I think there's going to be a town hall meeting or there's a town hall meeting in my building about a plumbing issue.

That's, that's pretty serious. Uh, but I like the fact that in a building, um, full of people that I have a say, I get to vote on the plumbing matter, which is very serious. Uh, got to have good plumbing people. Um, I dunno, what serious things are going on in your life? That's kind of where I'm at. That's serious business for me.

[00:02:48] Jon Rom: Well, I have 2 follow-up questions to did the bird that the bird, uh, get out safely?

[00:02:56] Jonathan Friedman: I haven't seen it. So, I mean, um, my, you know, like there's been a holiday recently, my hunches that, you know, that that bird became, you know, part of the meal just good. Use every part of the animal, uh, make a soup yourself, a Soup go in

[00:03:13] Jon Rom: Hey nothing serious, nothing, nothing serious about a bird flying into your home and cooking it for dinner.

That's too jovial needed to tone it down by 30%.

[00:03:26] Jonathan Friedman: I'm not sure. I'm, I'm able to tone myself down 30% let's try. Um, yeah, so it's a really serious problem that the bird was there.

Um, I guess,

[00:03:36] Jon Rom: Nope. That's now let's see. Now it says somewhere now you're just, you went too far. You've made today ASMR.

[00:03:40] Jonathan Friedman: Are you saying that I can only be funny or be ASMR?

That's weird. I'm not, that's my secret. I'm I always sound good.

[00:03:51] Jon Rom: You always sound good.

Okay. Fine. Okay. How about, how about this instead of serious why don't we do a very, um, a very introspective episode? Cause that, that also is like low energy and it'll. It'll match the pace. So like, uh, uh, Johnny, when you were a child, uh, what, what was your relationship with birds?

[00:04:16] Jonathan Friedman: Bird's fine. Bees not so much. They are terrible. The birds and the bees birds fine. Bees are terrible. Although I did almost get attacked by a goose once and that does not add fluff or tad, any funny business. Um, it's a true story and it didn't happen to a friend of a friend of mine. It happened to me.

It just does, you know, geese hiss? It's like a whole, they sound like cats.

[00:04:40] Jon Rom: Oh yeah. Geese are monsters. Well, and the reason you hated the bees is cause they were as trying to have sex with birds.

[00:04:46] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. That, that's the story every parent tells her child when they go through puberty it's about the birds and the bees.

And it's about the birds and the bees, you know, taking each other out to dinner, having a glass of wine, listening to Marvin Gaye and other Motown hits. Um, that is what the birds and the bees are about.

[00:05:07] Jon Rom: Why the birds. Okay. So presumably we're not telling children that the birds and the bees are intermingling like that, but instead, they're each pairing off to do their own thing.

But why would you tell a kid that's so upsetting to tell a child that all around you, that all the buzzing and the squawking that you hear is just, uh, animals being nasty?

[00:05:32] Jonathan Friedman: So, firstly, I love that you started this podcast saying like no funny business. And the first thing you bring up is this weird conundrum that we have that birds and bees are just getting to the nitty-gritty at all times with each other.

Um, you know, like geese and Hornets. Oh, I hate this image so much. Just getting...

[00:05:58] Jon Rom: Horneest? Is that anything?

[00:06:00] Jonathan Friedman: Oh no, that one stings.

[00:06:07] Jon Rom: Uh, no. All right. We try to serious episodes so no one, no one, no one could say we didn't try.

[00:06:13] Jonathan Friedman: we did the best we could.

[00:06:13] Jon Rom: We definitely, wid the best we could. And, and, uh, um,

[00:06:17] Jonathan Friedman: I think, I think it's problematic that us trying the serious episodes ends up, me being an ASM, our voice actor, and us talking about the birds and the bees having sex.

[00:06:31] Jon Rom: Yeah.

Well, that's good.

Just goes to show you, is that you can't, you can't, uh, you can't change your true colors. Be they a yellow, black, a green, a


[00:06:46] Jonathan Friedman: Were you waiting for me to do some kind of segue into that one?

[00:06:51] Jon Rom: I mean, I did say I said green, so

[00:06:55] Jonathan Friedman: Is now the time? Is now the time we break it down?

[00:07:00] Jon Rom: I immediately, I regret, I immediately set you up for a segue because I know you had a great segue plan.

So, uh, why don't you, uh, why don't you lay it down for us?

[00:07:13] Jonathan Friedman: My segue?

[00:07:16] Jon Rom: Yeah, your segue

hey, I have a, I have a, I have a

nice trick for a segue? To say segues are weird.

[00:07:27] Jonathan Friedman: Segues or weird, but John, I have this journal for you. Let, let me try that delivery again. One more. I just have to sneeze and I want to try that delivery again.

[00:07:37] Jon Rom: No problem. Thank you both for this, a neat trick.

[00:07:43] Jonathan Friedman: Well, John, segues are weird, but I have this new journal for you. Are you ready? Uh, take a listen to get down to the nitty-gritty.

[00:07:53] Jon Rom: Absolutely. And now that I know what you think nitty-gritty means I am very wary of where this is going.

[00:08:01] Jonathan Friedman: So we have this journal, uh, it's called a Banner Year and it's by Bruce B

and it goes something like this and not something like this.

[00:08:12] Jon Rom: And it goes a little, something like this, except that you're going to read exactly where what he wrote. Instead of that a riffing,

[00:08:21] Jonathan Friedman: I, I, for some reason I'm stuck into the whole like Jimmy Cool Jazz kind of vibe where I'm like, yeah, the song goes a little, something like this, and I guess journals go exactly like how they're written because they're like solidified by somebody else and not me.

Um, so we'll go ahead and segues are weird.

[00:08:43] Jon Rom: Segues are weird.

[00:08:46] Jonathan Friedman: All right. So a banner year by Bruce B.

They want the big guy. They want the smart guy. They want the big guy. They want the smart guy. I need some balance here. Not so long ago, I was doing the work I wanted to do in a country where people saw me for my intelligence.

The doctor is someone who can heal and make the world better. And this group of heroes who I think are my friends always seem to find a way to lure me in to turn me into the other guy, the big guy, the strong guy, the one who can withstand any beating. But I don't like that side of me so much. It's a part of me that I can't reconcile.

It's a part of me that hurts too many people. I wish I could use my smart guy self to figure out a way out of this jam, but I know I am doomed to the cycle.

[00:09:38] Jon Rom: Segues are weird. The cycle, the cycle of being who you want to be versus who people expect you to be. Ooh, heavy. This episode got serious without us even trying.

[00:09:58] Jonathan Friedman: And this episode is sponsored by Segways.

[00:10:02] Jon Rom: Hmm. I'd have been way better. Oh, can we get Segways to sponsor us?

[00:10:06] Jonathan Friedman: Is Segway a brand?

[00:10:09] Jon Rom: Googling that very quick

[00:10:12] Jonathan Friedman: Segway is a company


So like all segues. Do they get a cut?

[00:10:16] Jon Rom: So what is the Segway? What is the Segway vehicle called? One it is not being made by segway unless they've completely cornered the market.

[00:10:25] Jonathan Friedman: To wield gyroscopic, scooter things.

[00:10:29] Jon Rom: And I wonder they came up with a name.

[00:10:31] Jonathan Friedman: That's like the no-name version of it.

[00:10:34] Jon Rom: Segways were invented in 2001.

[00:10:38] Jonathan Friedman: Did you think there were older or newer?

[00:10:40] Jon Rom: I thought they were newer,

[00:10:43] Jonathan Friedman: How new? Like: recently Elon Musk was like, oh yeah, introducing the Segway. Is that what you thought?

[00:10:53] Jon Rom: No. Okay, whatever worlds. So the, uh, gentlemen wrote in Bruce, uh, he is being asked to, uh, be someone the one who can withstand any beating.

I mean, I guess, I guess we all talk metaphorically at times and we all have a version of ourselves that's tough, rough tumble, and can take a beating. Uh, but then our sensitive, emotional side is the one that we want to indulge more, but you got to keep that at home. You got to keep it, you got to keep it locked away so that no one, uh, so that no one sees who you are and doesn't judge you, or it doesn't, uh, doesn't feel like you're unnecessary, you know?

[00:11:48] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, it's a, it's a really interesting journal and, interestingly, there are a few different things here that we don't know fully what they mean.

You know, what's the cycle, is it, you know, shifting personality traits? Is it showing up in different conversations as a different side of yourself? We know that when we go to the movies or we're hanging out with friends versus going to work versus being on a date versus hanging out with our family, there's a different side of ourselves that shows up.

But is that the cycle that we're referring to here? Or is there like a, like what, what, what's the pain here? Is it that the cycle of like needing to show up with somebody different? Is it the cycle of what the friends want or don't want or need at that specific time, whether they want the strong guy or the smart guy?

Is that the expectation of Bruce? Well, w w what do you think is going on here? What sticks out to you, Jon?

[00:12:48] Jon Rom: Well, let me share it, let me share a story for my own life because I'm, I'm always wanting to be funnier at work than I, then I get to be because, uh, I'm making jokes all the time when I'm at home, but then I gotta be serious, uh, serious Dr. Jon, uh, in my workplace. And, and we were having a meeting about marketing, uh, and we were thinking of marketing, one of our, uh, incontinence products to, uh, to golfers, to lady golfers. And they were, they were asking me all these questions of what I think would be the right way to go. And offhand, I say, don't let a bit of yellow ruin your time on the green.

And after a lot of times,

[00:13:31] Jonathan Friedman: That's good.

[00:13:32] Jon Rom: Thank you. And after a long pause, they all burst out into laughter and I was just like, well, why aren't I worth it, why don't I get to be more fun? Why don't I make more jokes? I don't know, be myself. Uh, when I'm in these meetings, why do I have to be all serious all the time?

Why do I have to be so serious on this podcast all the time, Jonathan? Why are you forcing me to be serious?

[00:13:55] Jonathan Friedman: If we're being real, you opened up this podcast by saying, "Hey, we're done with the banter we're done with the bits we're done with the funny jokes" and then you get into this bit on the birds and the bees.

Now you're talking about, don't let yellow ruin your time on the green. And now you're accusing me, J'accuse, of me being the serious one.

[00:14:19] Jon Rom: That's what I'm saying. That's what I'm saying, Jonathan. That's what I'm saying. I'm saying t we, we try to make ourselves into who we think people expect us to be, instead of just worrying about being ourselves.

And, I don't want to assume too much here. I don't want to assume that that's exactly what versus going through, but this whole thing just sounds so relatable. Do you know? As this group of people, these heroes that he thinks, uh, you know, he thinks are his friends are, are trying to make him into a person that he doesn't want to be, who doesn't want to spend too much time being.

And I w I, I guess I want to know more about what that feels like for him specifically.

[00:15:05] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I think that's good. And I think whenever we receive a journal, not I think, I know God damn it, that, uh, when we receive a journal, there's this piece about, you know, checking our story, making sure we're not jumping to conclusions.

But there's this other piece in our coach brains because coaches have very specific kinds of brains, um, that makes our spidey senses tingle and notice, or take a guess or a leap as to what the pain in a journal is. And for me in this specific journal, two big things pop up. There's a cycle.

You know, Bruce uses the words I'm doomed to the cycle and that's that, that has a lot of weight. That's a big statement. So we want to know more about that cycle. The other pain is that his friends who he refers to as heroes don't necessarily theme too, and this is just me making an assumption, not answering the journal.

They assume that, um, they assume that they're, they, they don't, they don't accept Bruce for who he is in that moment or who he wants to be. They're always wanting a different side of him to come out when they need it, the relationship hinges on what they need, not on what they need together as a relationship.

So I think there's like these two elements of pain here. There's the friendship that seems to be kind of one way in a way. And the second part, which is, you know, the pain of that cycle. Is there anything that popped out to you, John?

[00:16:40] Jon Rom: Well, I want to know like what, so, so what do you want to know about that?

What, what, how could we, how can we get to the crux of this? Because, um, you know, this guy, this, this Bruce Guy is smart. He, he, he seems to understand a lot of the problem, but can't seem to, uh, reconcile between us two sides. So what more information could we, could we get, uh, what more of the story could we have to clarify. Clarify this whole situation and maybe give more cogent advice, more germane advice.

[00:17:17] Jonathan Friedman: And, and the way we do that is as per huge, as per huge, segues are weird. We ask questions to determine what's going on. We don't want to be those coaches or those, um, helping help helping profession, people who just come in and say, oh, well, based on this, you know, one paragraph you've written to us, here's all the advice you've ever needed.

And this is what you need to do to be good. We need to get the full story. We need to get the full picture. So, um, what we're going to do is we're going to ask some questions to Bruce. So for me, there are a couple of things I want to know more about. So I sort of, uh, touched upon the pain in my head when I was reading the journal, I thought about the cycle and I thought about the friendship.

So for me, I want to know what the cycle of going from the intelligent guy to the strong guy feels like. And also what does balance mean to Bruce? He said I need some balance here. What does the balance mean in the scope of Bruce and his peers? Is there, is there a timeline where Bruce can be both an intelligent guy and a strong guy to meet in the middle?

Is that a possibility here or is that different? Jon, are there any questions you'd want to throw up Bruce?

[00:18:34] Jon Rom: I guess I would wonder if the smart guy ever shines through when he is being the strong guy. I'd want to know. I'd want to know if, if he sees these two is so different from one another, so separated from each other, or if there is a little bit of, uh, of the smart guy that goes into being the big guy, because big guys, big guys are good at taking a beating, but it's usually.

The smart guys saved them from having to go into a beating altogether and smart guys can give themselves out of a lot of scrapes, but when there is no getting out of it, the big guys will save, and the strong guys will save them from, you know, immediate harm. And I wonder if there's a mishmash between the two that he sees.

[00:19:28] Jonathan Friedman: That's interesting. So the idea is that you know, Bruce is looking at himself in this never-ending cycle of, you know, becoming the other guy and becoming this other guy and the other guy and so on until the end of time. But the question is, are there bits that shine through in both parts of himself?

Is it that it is only the strong guy or the smart guy? Or is it, you know, when he's a strong guy, he's a little, he's a little smart too. It doesn't need to be, uh, one or the other so firmly. Maybe it's not quite like that. Maybe. There's um, kind of a belief that's planted there that you can only be one or the other. Did I get that right Dr. John?

[00:20:11] Jon Rom: It did. And, uh, you also got the theme song to the Disney channels, a smart guy stuck in my head. So...

[00:20:19] Jonathan Friedman: He's the smart guy oh, well now to pull a page out of your book, now we can never coach the smart guy.

[00:20:29] Jon Rom: Well, yeah, I, I mean, we have a name and then, but also, cause I don't actually remember the characters name, but uh, uh, we only, we only date, uh, date oh my god we only coach well, you can see, you can see where my head is today.

We only coach with people over the age of 18. Don't judge me over there. Jonathan has turned off his microphone so that he can laugh at me.

[00:21:04] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, one of the Jonathans on this show, who's doing the editing is going to have some fun today. Remember that Jonathan is.

[00:21:12] Jon Rom: Oh no.

Oh, man. Which Jonathan?

[00:21:16] Jonathan Friedman: We'll run it by the, well, actually, whenever there's a situation like this, we have to run the episode through the council of Jonathon's.

[00:21:24] Jon Rom: It's true. And, uh, they, they approve or deny it.

Uh, I am, uh, going to pick a Jonathan that will send it to, um, little, little John, Jonathan Smith.

[00:21:43] Jonathan Friedman: Is that his name?

[00:21:44] Jon Rom: Yeah,

[00:21:45] Jonathan Friedman: like the turndown for what guy?

[00:21:47] Jon Rom: Maybe?

[00:21:49] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, everybody shot

turn down for what.

[00:21:53] Jon Rom: Little John Johnson.

[00:21:56] Jonathan Friedman: I'm, I'm impressed with myself because I'm the metal guy, not the iron guy, the metal guy. And, um, I, my, my knowledge of anything outside of the realm of heavy metal is very limited.

So I'm, I'm excited that I knew turned down for what, that makes me happy. But yeah, Little John is a, is a valued Jonathan Smith rather is a, is a valued member, actually an esteemed member of the council of Jonathan's he has unique privileges that are unlike any other Jonathan on the council.

[00:22:32] Jon Rom: Dean Ambrose's given name is Jonathan.

Did you know that??

[00:22:36] Jonathan Friedman: Dean Ambrose? Who's Dean Ambrose?

[00:22:37] Jon Rom: I have no idea.

[00:22:39] Jonathan Friedman: I don't know either.

[00:22:42] Jon Rom: Oh, he's a wrestler. He's a wrestler.

[00:22:44] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, Jonathan Moxley.

[00:22:47] Jon Rom: Yeah. Jonathan. I know Jonathan. Yeah. John Moxley uh, or Jonathan David Good.

This is turning into Jonathan's cast quickly and it wasn't my attention. We just had to pick a John. That's a Little John is going to review my, a goof-up back there. Uh, but we only coach people over the age of 18. So we don't have to worry about the smart guy while we went on a tangent on a tangent.

I want to know if Bruce is, uh, two dual-sided, uh, selves are, are so, uh, dichotomous, are they so opposed to one another that he can't find a middle ground between them? Uh, and I guess the way to understand that is to ask if he sees any of the smart guys in the, in the strong guy and the strong guy and the smart guy in summation QED.

Uh, that is my question. Take it, or leave it, take it to the bank. 10 out of 10.

[00:23:47] Jonathan Friedman: You did it. You did a great job there. I. Uh, you really, you segwayed out of your attention well. That was, that was,

[00:23:55] Jon Rom: we know what the thing is. Segways are so weird.

[00:24:00] Jonathan Friedman: What's weird about them?

[00:24:02] Jon Rom: They self-balance. Witchcraft?

[00:24:06] Jonathan Friedman: We can learn a lot from the Segway. I think.

[00:24:10] Jon Rom: We can try.

[00:24:11] Jonathan Friedman: We can try. So I'm going to go ahead. And, uh, now that we've gotten to three questions in like eight minutes, we're going to set off

[00:24:23] Jon Rom: eight minutes, eight minutes after editing. I'm sure.

[00:24:26] Jonathan Friedman: At least. Well, and now I have to edit that voice crack out. And man, Jonathan Smith has to edit that voice cracked out.

He's got nothing better to do with his time than edit this podcast.

[00:24:40] Jon Rom: Yeah. We only, coach people over 18, but our voice cracks, uh, because we are 14 and 15 respectively.

[00:24:48] Jonathan Friedman: I'm going through fourth puberty currently. And that means my dad again has to bring up the story of the birds and the bees. And it's, it's a whole, it's a whole thing.

Um, so

[00:24:58] Jon Rom: we've had first puberty, but what about second puberty?

[00:25:01] Jonathan Friedman: Honestly, I, I genuinely believe I'm going through fourth puberty. Sometimes I'm sitting in my car and my voice starts to crack again. I'm like, man, like haven't I been through I'm almost 29 years old. Have we not been through this enough already?

[00:25:16] Jon Rom: Isn't your beard old enough to be going through its puberty at this point?

[00:25:20] Jonathan Friedman: My grandfather recently looked at me and he's like, oh, rabbi,

[00:25:26] Jon Rom: uh,

uh, Rabbi Jonathan.

[00:25:30] Jonathan Friedman: Exactly. He's and he's like, um, he's like a 90a 90-year-old Moroccan man we don't talk that much, unfortunately, but every time I see him, he's like, whenever I have the long beard, he, uh, he's like, oh, rabbi, rabbi, Jonathan.

Uh, what are you going to teach me today? I'm like, damn grandpa. Ice cold grandpa.

[00:25:56] Jon Rom: Coaching with rabbis. that's what the show can turn into. If we just stopped shaving.

[00:26:04] Jonathan Friedman: Um, so I'm going to go ahead and send these questions over to our good friend, Bruce, because he's waited long enough and, uh, we'll see what transpires

Well, we seek some balance is balanced, even a good idea? What's

going on with it.

[00:26:35] Jon Rom: Got, got it for a video ended on that, on that strong question, and then just have the cut.

[00:26:41] Jonathan Friedman: Oh no, it's going to be a hard cut that it's up to Jonathan Smith. Whether or not it's going to be a hard cut, the council does what the council does for a reason.

[00:26:53] Jon Rom: That's true.

Cause if, if a little John isn't editing your work, you're not going to be successful.

[00:27:00] Jonathan Friedman: A hundred million percent and it doesn't need to be belittled. It's just, there's a, there are these themed members of the council of Jonathans and.

[00:27:09] Jon Rom: Jonathan Frakes, uh, John, Jonathan, um, wow. It's, it's sad that I feel like I know a lot of JonaJonathansmy life, but not a lot of celebrity JohnJohnathans0:27:24] Jonathan Friedman: Okay. There's Jonathan Davis from KoRn he's on the council of Jonathans.

[00:27:28] Jon Rom: Obviously.

[00:27:29] Jonathan Friedman: Obviously everyone listens to KoRn. Um, it was the most... Google this who is the most famous Jonathan is on the people also ask.

[00:27:40] Jon Rom: I hate, I hate that it's such a competition between all of us, cause like I wake up in the morning and I know I'm ranked 137.

I've been ranked 137th for the last 10 years in terms of the most famous Jonathan. And all I want is to have, uh, just, just like a slight bump in the, in the ratings.

[00:28:00] Jonathan Friedman: I like how the top three, uh, like in the, in the top five most famous Jonathon's there's this theologian named Jonathan Edwards. There's Jonathan Davis, the lead singer of Korn.

There's Q-tip, who's a musician named Jonathan William and little John or Jonathan Smith and there's a little fame of meter under to oh, and there's rabbi Jonathan sacks too. So we're, we're in good company over here.

[00:28:31] Jon Rom: Yeah, exactly. Well good. Well, once, once we work our way up and the council, Jonathan will be able to, uh, to remove anyone who stands in our way and our master plan will finally be complete.

[00:28:45] Jonathan Friedman: Slowly, but surely. Segues are weird, we have, we have this journal coming in from, uh, Bruce again, to reply to our questions are many, many, many questions.

Hopefully, we didn't accidentally send anything about birds or bees, cause I'm sure you know, that wouldn't peak or beak his interest too much.

[00:29:06] Jon Rom: I mean, apparently we only date people over 18. So we're allowed to talk about the birds and the bees in this, uh, in this podcast.

[00:29:16] Jonathan Friedman: To do whatever the heck we want.

Yeah. The council has the stone that will, and that ability upon us, thanks to the council.

[00:29:25] Jon Rom: Freewill, freewill is given by a Jonathan, but it is also taken away.

[00:29:31] Jonathan Friedman: Can you imagine a world where anybody's ability to make decisions hinges or not upon whether Jonathan Davis from KoRn or little John, likes guys with the beefiest, weirdest voices are the ones who were like, yeah, you're can do that.

Boom, boom to data. Do you know what I mean?

It's a bit weird

[00:29:52] Jon Rom: are saying that, are they?

Have you never listened to KoRn? Is that something you never did?

I can't say I've ever listened to Korn.

[00:30:02] Jonathan Friedman: I mean, they're, they're, they're unique. They changed the landscape for music in the early nineties and, uh, they have a lot of weird sounds and a lot of their musical sends you some samples of,

[00:30:13] Jon Rom: I mean, I mean, I mean, bombs change the landscape of IEPs, but it's not necessarily considered a good chanchance0:30:23] Jonathan Friedman: I'll send you some samples and then you can make your own decision from there.

[00:30:26] Jon Rom: Stop trying to get me into KoRn. We talked about this at the last council meeting.

[00:30:31] Jonathan Friedman: Oh yeah. I'm sorry. Yeah.

[00:30:33] Jon Rom: Well Bruce writes back. We need fewer Jonathans

[00:30:37] Jonathan Friedman: and more segues are weird.

[00:30:39] Jon Rom: Um, for the rest of the episode I'm Bruce.

Hello, Bruce.

Thank you, Bruce.

[00:30:44] Jonathan Friedman: Um, okay.

Here's Bruce's journal in response to our questions, which were about the cycle, the friendship. And is there a possibility that there can be, you know, a little bit of the smart guy in a little bit of the big guy or vice versa, let's take a look at this journal?

"Very interesting. Where did you study Jonathan?

The cycle hurts because I can feel the change happening and I physically try to force the change down, but it never works. I always turn into him and it's impossible to change. Balance to me would be taking on both sides of the personality, the good, the bad, and the green adjusting together. Instead of this constant flux, my friends only want one or the other.

They want the smart Bruce or the green guy. So what do I do, coach? Do I live my life in these states? Or is there a possibility that I can have just one personality?"

[00:31:37] Jon Rom: Jonathan, were you ever, as a kid told that, like, friends who want you to do things for them, aren't your friends?

[00:31:46] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. We, I mean, there were this, this almost seems like a, like that elementary schoolyard situation: oh yeah like go hop the fence and get the ball. No teacher's going to stop you. That kind of thing, that kind of peer pressure is almost kind of the vibe that's going on here in a way it's, it's, it's interesting. Uh, and you know, as we don't coach anyone under 18, these are adults who are kind of in a similar sort of situation in Bruce's, you know, w at this really intelligent person, he's also a very strong and his friends are like Nah, Bruce, you gotta be the big green guy, not Bruce.

You got to do something really smart right now. Not Bruce. You gotta make a crock ambush and maybe Bruce doesn't want to make a crock ambush. Maybe Bruce wants to go on a walk and make big strides or jump high because he's very strong, but also has the intelligence to enjoy a nice walk and relax and listen to some tunes.

[00:32:49] Jon Rom: I mean, I, yeah. Yeah. Like, like the challenge here, the challenge here is as you get older, you go to work and the people at work want you to be a certain way to get stuff done. Um, and then you think you can think of yourself like, well, my real friends wouldn't, uh, ask me to be different. They would just want me to be me and, uh, accept me as I am.

But, uh, you know, the people at work aren't necessarily your friends. They are coworkers, they're trying to accomplish tasks so that they can, uh, keep the business rolling and for you to get paid. And so, and so I think sometimes you need to dispel the illusion either a, that you need to be a certain way for your friends to like you, or that the people that you're with are your friends.

And if they're not your friends and their coworkers, then it's a different situation because maybe, it's a requirement that sometimes you'd be the smart guy. Sometimes you'd be the strong guy, but if it's the people that you're around, that that are the ones that are forcing this change and you don't like that.

Buddy, there, there, there are more things that you could be doing. You're a smart guy. So let us know yourself.

Come on, Bruce.

[00:34:11] Jonathan Friedman: One of the things I thought was interesting in this reply is that the pain is in so much being on one side or the other. It's partially the things that are happening in those states, but it's mostly the flux, the change that's happening in between, and something you noted in the previous journal, Jon, is this idea of what if you could have both? What if instead of focusing on the flux, we could, you know, lean into tolerating or accepting both sides, having the best of both worlds, you know? Kick it off, take it slow, and then go on with the show.

[00:34:53] Jon Rom: The, uh, we call it the por qué no las dos? Uh, uh, uh, coaching strategy, because why do you have to choose when it could be both at the same time.

[00:35:04] Jonathan Friedman: Like if I could be both obscenely strong and obscenely intelligent and still be a Jonathon at the same time. Wouldn't that be like a crazy, amazing thing? Like if I could like, just shut my eyes and in my big imagination, think about that, that, that day, that week, that month, that life would be, that'd be pretty sick, you know? I'd be strolling around north York, Toronto people would be like, oh damn, that's a Jonathan. He's both smart and strong. And they would just know it just by looking at me that I, I meet all of those qualities. I'd want that. If I could, you know what I mean,

Por que no los dos, Jon? Why can't you have both?

[00:35:52] Jon Rom: And that's and I think that's my question, you know, uh, maybe you can put it in a more, um, eloquent way, but my question to Bruce is. Why can't you have both here and what's stopping you from being able to indulge in both sides? Like, is it the environment that you're in, that's causing you to have to flux so quickly that you can't find a marriage between these two sides of yourself, these two, um, these two ends of the spectrum.

[00:36:21] Jonathan Friedman: And I love that. And I think the second piece in a way is, um, are we letting peer pressure get to us, right? Just because your friend, like, if your friend says, all right, Brucey, like you gotta jump off the bridge. Are you going to do it? If they say, Hey, you gotta be the strong guy right now. Like we also have a bit of our own, you know, freefree will Jonathan's have bestowed upon us to have that free will.

And it makes some of our own choices. Like maybe in that situation, we know ourselves, we know our bodies better, and we know that we might want to make a different choice. Um, So for me where I'd want to go with this is kind of this blue sky journaling exercise, where we would look at what if you accepted the other side of you, um, or at least tolerated, um, like as we mentioned, there's this concept of accepting and tolerating.

And when we move into that space of just, you know, there's this part of ourselves that, you know, might be a little more rational, but strong and able to get the job done. And there's this part of self that's, you know when we're calm, we're, you know, working hard on really big projects and doing really important work in the world.

Why can't we have both? So we'd want to take a look at what does life look like when we have both? And the other thing I wanna take a look at is that relationship with friends. Do you feel that your friends only like you for your intelligence or strength? Or do you believe that if you shared what you felt that they'd be okay with it?

You know, we're not, we don't yet know if Bruce has had a conversation with these heroes, with these friends about how he's feeling. Maybe if he said: yo, I want to be like this. This is what feels good for me" and everyone says yo when they start a sentence because that's just a thing that people do in general.

[00:38:21] Jon Rom: That's something everyone does.

[00:38:23] Jonathan Friedman: Yo, yo.

[00:38:27] Jon Rom: So you know, Jonathan, when the council, uh, paired me with you to take over the world of podcasting by storm with the, with the coaching podcast, I said to myself, does this guy know what's up? And then you said, yo, and I'm like, yeah, he does.

He does know that.

[00:38:47] Jonathan Friedman: You just knew that that's like ours, I am Groot.

[00:38:51] Jon Rom: Exactly. It's the moment where we clicked.

[00:38:53] Jonathan Friedman: We just on the same way. Um, segues are weird.

Yeah. segues are weird

[00:39:00] Jon Rom: it sent us over at, send us over to Bruce yo I think that's a, I think that's good, uh, it's good, it's a good question. It's a good set of questions you're asking it's and we're getting, we're getting down to it from

[00:39:28] Jonathan Friedman: and, uh, what do you know, uh, Bruce replied. Bruce's fast. He's using some smart AI smartphone technology that lets him know, Hey, you know, you got a new journal. That's pretty, that's pretty rad. That's dope.

[00:39:43] Jon Rom: It's like an instant message except slower and more thoughtful. And you don't just say.

That's dope. And NMU,

[00:39:55] Jonathan Friedman: N M U. Is that the new MSN?

[00:40:00] Jon Rom: NMU and

[00:40:00] Jonathan Friedman: NMU would have been a great social media,

[00:40:03] Jon Rom: Great social media platform? Oh my God. And then, oh, we have to, we have to invent that immediately.

[00:40:10] Jonathan Friedman: We have to bring it to the council.

[00:40:13] Jon Rom: I think we,

[00:40:15] Jonathan Friedman: you think we, we go rogue, we break on it on our own?

[00:40:17] Jon Rom: I think we should go. I think we should go, rogue.

[00:40:20] Jonathan Friedman: Start our council. Would we allow a lot of?

[00:40:22] Jon Rom: There's a lot of our Jonathan's are not good demise in, uh, in

their lives though.

[00:40:27] Jonathan Friedman: Do you think that we would include, uh, people who aren't Jonathan's in our scheme here? Or is it still just a Jonathan-based program?

[00:40:37] Jon Rom: What do you mean? Like, like, uh, uh, uh, Richards or, sorry, Jack

[00:40:44] Jonathan Friedman: Jasmine?

[00:40:47] Jon Rom: Uh, what is the female version of the, of the name? Jonathan?

[00:40:52] Jonathan Friedman: That's a good question. I feel like it's Joanna,

[00:40:55] Jon Rom: but I feel like that's the female version of Joe.

[00:41:00] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, my brain hurts. We need to ask Bruce we'll, we'll send a conversation starter.

[00:41:06] Jon Rom: Maybe Joan?

[00:41:08] Jonathan Friedman: Joan?

[00:41:09] Jon Rom: Joan.

Hey, if you're a Joan, can you write in and ask a, tell us if you think that your name is the female version of Jonathan? Because, uh, if we ever need a third, a third, a co-host on the show we'd like to diversify, and frankly, uh, I think, I know just adding another Jonathan to the mix is a recipe for disaster.

[00:41:34] Jonathan Friedman: It's too much, but also I like the idea of anyone on the council being a J name.

I think that's smart.

[00:41:40] Jon Rom: Sure.

[00:41:41] Jonathan Friedman: All journal names, journals with Jonathan, Joan, Jillian, Jasmine, Joe, Jehovah Joe. What other J names are there?

[00:41:56] Jon Rom: Jord

[00:41:58] Jonathan Friedman: is Jordan a name? It must be.

[00:42:00] Jon Rom: Sure for Jordanna.

[00:42:01] Jonathan Friedman: Oh yeah. Jordanna is a J name.

[00:42:03] Jon Rom: I haven't met a Jordanna and a grip.

A Jordanna is where you at? Joan's and Jordanna's, that's the name of this episode

Joan's and Jordanne hit us up.

[00:42:12] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, please. We want to hear from you. Um, maybe you can join our revised council.

[00:42:19] Jon Rom: Yeah. New council,

[00:42:20] Jonathan Friedman: new council with, with, with blackjack

and our, um, and our brand new social media platform, NMU.

[00:42:27] Jon Rom:

Okay, what would NMU what would the NMU social media platform app be?

So obviously no one can be doing anything exciting.

[00:42:37] Jonathan Friedman: I feel like it would be. Old Twitter with the harsher character limit was an instant messaging platform. I think that's what it would be. So it would be, um, I'd be like, Hey John, you have to, everything would be those old MSN acronyms. So NMU, GTG, and, uh, TTFN LMAO LMFAO.

[00:43:02] Jon Rom: I, I just had a thought NMU was written by us, uh, kids when we had no, uh, no semblance on how to talk to people, how to create a, how to go about creating conversation, how to dig into stories or, or, or have interesting, um, uh, uh, conversation. So, uh, discourse is what I was looking for. Interesting discourse.

So that means that NMU should cater to people who have no idea how to talk to one another, even online. And you have like 10,000 phrases that you can choose from, and you just pick one of those 10,000 phrases, and then the person responds with it. One of the 10,000 phrases, and you just go back and forth until you've had a whole conversation.

And then hopefully your whole, the whole point is that you graduate from NMU by slowly slipping in some of your own. Ideas and conversation, topics and responses. And then by the end of it, you have learned how to talk to another person. Thank you for coming to my Ted talk. Um, thank you, sharks. I will be taking $5 million for this idea.

Thank you for 2% of my company.

[00:44:15] Jonathan Friedman: Oh man. That's the highest, uh, ask we've ever had on the show.

[00:44:20] Jon Rom: It's worth it. It's I don't know what to tell you. It's worth it. I'm worth every penny.

[00:44:24] Jonathan Friedman: For me, I feel that NMU would be a platform in which people can only talk with the MSN acronyms, like my, like ROLF, LMFAO and that's how you talk you and you don't even get to use the keyboard.

The keyboard will be disabled when that app is engaged and it's just your mouse to point and click at the acronym that you want to use. And that's how you have to have conversations.

[00:44:50] Jon Rom: If you're rolling on the floor, laughing, you're having, uh, an attack. You are on, your things are not okay.

[00:44:57] Jonathan Friedman: You're ruffling,


you're ruffling you're lowing you're

[00:45:04] Jon Rom: I don't like that. Don't say that ever again wow. It sounds like a gap. It feels like air airball.

And The Moo and The Moo was also a good name for a social media platform.

[00:45:16] Jonathan Friedman: No, no. Mo is more like, um, uh, grabbing ghost smoothie

[00:45:21] Jon Rom: The Moo oh yeah.

[00:45:22] Jonathan Friedman: Or like a yoga studio that also likes serves tonics


[00:45:32] Jon Rom: that's like Paladin medicine.

[00:45:34] Jonathan Friedman: Like you go downtown Toronto. It's like, Hey, I just woke up, went to The Moo you know what I mean?

[00:45:39] Jon Rom: Did you hear about this new, tonic place? Yeah, they put cocaine and everything they sell.

And there's The Moo for you. We need to stop. Okay. What did, what did Bruce write? This is our most serious episode ever.

[00:45:57] Jonathan Friedman: I, I think that if you want a serious episode, you shouldn't start the episode by saying I demand a serious episode.

[00:46:04] Jon Rom: Oh, well, I, you know,

you know how you started a serious episode, you have it.

Um, it has to be raining, and, uh, the lighting has to be like Game of Thrones level pitch black. And the music has to be only on piano solely. And then like maybe with some cello in the back just to like give it a little bit of carriage. And, uh, then, you have everyone talk as, as, as if they're like right up next to each other, even though they're standing like 10 feet apart and you have to turn up the volume like 20 times.

[00:46:38] Jonathan Friedman: And leaf over at least.

[00:46:42] Jon Rom: But then halfway through the episode, uh, like a car crash happens and it blasts the friggin sound on your speakers and wakes up half the house. And they're like, what the hell are you listening to? I'm like, I'm sorry.

[00:46:54] Jonathan Friedman: It interrupts the birds and the bees.

[00:46:56] Jon Rom: Exactly.

From doing their dark deeds.

So What did Bruce write?

[00:47:00] Jonathan Friedman: So he said:

"maybe if I had just tried some yoga, am I right? I could spend some time away from my friends and all the noise and do some research. That's how I got into this in the first place. What's interesting to me is that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to fix what I don't like about the big guy, instead of just accepting or tolerating that he's a part of me"

and I'm really glad. I, I think often when we coach it's like, okay, you know, we, we see somebody, we feel the pain and we want to get them to this new place as quickly as possible. But I think for Bruce even opening up, we know Bruce's smart and strong. And if we just open up the idea that Bruce can have both and also improve his communication with his friends, that's a good thing.

That's a great thing.

[00:47:56] Jon Rom: Yeah. And it's baby steps, right? Like you don't have to solve this problem immediately. This is one of those. Um, you're gonna keep going to work or going to be called upon to be these two different people, but you're not always working. And I think the more comfortable you become by yourself being these two people at the same time, the smart guy and the big guy.

The easier it'll be to come back and be a more, um, put-together person than if you were to just constantly be trying to fix this while doing your job while doing all the things it's stressful and yeah. Try some yoga if that helps but in reality like you got some, you got some thinking to do, which is fine cause you're very smart.

[00:48:47] Jonathan Friedman: I love it. I love it. I love it. So I hope to keep hearing more from Bruce, but we are going to segue again into, uh, into some listener questions. Jon are you ready?

[00:49:00] Jon Rom: I'm waiting.

I'm ready.

[00:49:07] Jonathan Friedman: Perfect. I'm just gonna run to the washroom real quick. I'll be right back.

[00:49:12] Jon Rom: Are you ready? Well, I've not

dealt with it.

And I was a young boy.

Uh, welcome back to the podcast. Uh, this is just Dr. Jon, uh, and in this segment of the podcast, I'm going to start listing off who is on the council of Jonathans.

Um, so enjoy that. it's just going to be a list of Johnathan's as you might imagine. So we got, uh, Jonathan Brandis, Jonathan Bailey, Jonathan Davis, Jonathan Groff, Jonathan Seacombe Joel Lee, Jonathan Lee, Jonathan Davis, again, but with one S Jonathan Chevonne, Jonathan Bennett, Jonathan Larson, Jonathan Van Ness, Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

Jonathan Scott, Jonathan Tubi, Jonathan Tows, Jonathan Cepeda, Jonathan McDaniel.

[00:50:25] Jonathan Friedman: I just arrived from the washroom and all I hear is you rolling through Jonathan's. Is that a, uh,

[00:50:29] Jon Rom: this is a new segment on the show where I talk about who is, uh, who is in the council on the council of Jonathans. We got Jonathan Ross, Jonathan Davis, Jonathan Carlin, Jonathan Lipnicki, and Jonathan Zambrano.

And that concludes this week's segment of who is on the council of Jonathan's

[00:50:53] Jonathan Friedman: I don't know why we didn't think of that segment before. This is pretty good.

[00:50:56] Jon Rom: Uh, it is going to be in the show if it's the last thing that I do, and you can decide where it goes. You can decide if it goes to the end, you can decide if it opens the show.

[00:51:07] Jonathan Friedman: Well, Jonathan Smith decides that.

[00:51:10] Jon Rom: That's true. Yeah, we do have to submit it to the council, I mean we haven't gone rogue yet. Do you think they're going to be mad at us that we've even discussed going rogue earlier?

[00:51:17] Jonathan Friedman: Well, they gave us free will, so I think there'll be happy that we gave it a shot.

[00:51:21] Jon Rom: That's fair.

[00:51:22] Jonathan Friedman: We're thinking critically.

[00:51:23] Jon Rom: Um, so we have a question for us.

[00:51:25] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. We have a question from Barbara and the question is when is it worth it to tough it through a rough day? And we know rough days can be as a result of being anxious about being low about, you know, having tough stuff going on, um, and toughing it through beans.

You know, like when do you just like, pretend that like, when you just go on about your day, go to work, go to the gym, go hang out with friends, even though you have this stuff that's going on. And when do you just say, you know what, I need to take a break today? When, when do you do either?

[00:52:00] Jon Rom: Well, so Jonathan recently you had a day where, where things just were wasn't going your way.

And, uh, and I remember. Giving you my wisdom that I always use that if nothing seems to be going right that day, then to just stop doing things. And, uh, and I wonder what, where do you draw the line for that kind of day? What, what, what signs do you look for to tell yourself, all right, I'm out

[00:52:29] Jonathan Friedman: and this, I love it.

And I did have one of those days recently. And one of the things that got me to reflect on is my tells, like, if you think about sitting at a round table with all your buddies playing poker because that's something we all still do. Um, and you think about, okay, how do I know when somebody is bluffing?

And when somebody is, you know, telling the truth about what they have and you look, are they itching? Are they like playing with their hair or their beards or their sunglasses or whatever else people were at a poker table. And that's how you like, that's how you can start to make an assumption relative to their normal behavior on whether or not they're bluffing or not.

And mental health is not so different than that. Not that you're lying or telling the truth, but the tells and what starts to happen when you are starting to get to that place where you're okay to go on about your day to that place of overwhelming. For me on that day, I was not able to talk coherently, which would've made, having a podcast pretty damn difficult.

I was, um, my mind was just cycling through, um, everything that had happened over the weekend. I hadn't slept. And also I was for me, the thing that I noticed whenever I start to feel anxious, uh, not that that's the only way, the reason you'd need to tough it through the day. There are lots of other things, people experience, but for me, it's anxiety.

The second I start to sweat through a thousand shirts. I know that it's, uh, that it's, uh, it's, it's that kind of day where I'm better off, you know, just relaxing, taking a break. My body goes into overdrive. And, uh, you run through your wardrobe of black t-shirts pretty quickly.

[00:54:08] Jon Rom: So that's why you always eat spaghetti after you decide to do nothing else for the rest of the day because you're you have that saying, feeling sweaty, eat some spaghetti.

[00:54:19] Jonathan Friedman: That is, I've been saying that for years and I'm glad you're finally catching on bet. So I think this idea it's going to be different for everybody. Just like everything is with mental health and always on the segment. We always say, you know, different strokes for different folks, but in this case, it's very much relative to what we like to call or what lots of people call your baseline behavior.

So if you know, normally you're a calm person. Who's having conversations, your cadence, the way you speak in the rhythm at which you speak is pretty slow. You're, you're feeling pretty calm. You're feeling pretty content. The second you, for some people, when they start to speak really fast and they start to breathe fast and their eyes get really big and their shoulders get tight.

I'm like, that's a tell that you're becoming more heightened compared to your baseline when you're calm. And if you start to notice that that's happening fast, um, relative to your baseline, that might be a good day where you say, you know what? Lots of stuff is going on. My brain is somewhere else.

Maybe it's better to take a break than tough it out. What do you, what do you think, Jon?

[00:55:32] Jon Rom: I completely agree with you. I find that when my, uh, when I was as a kid, I was always someone who thought that if you know, it was raining, the sky was mad at him. But, um, you know, when you start feeling like the world is just.

Consistently trying to mess with you on a given day, you're allowed to, you're allowed to call that day, uh, an L and cut your losses and just stop doing things you're allowed to just check out and stop doing things. If you can find a Haven where you can just curl up, read a book, watch TV, stop, stop trying to talk to people, stop trying to do everything.

You know, maybe just take it easy for the rest of the day and regroup and restart tomorrow. I think those days happen to everyone. They don't happen super, super often. If they're having super often, then that's a different issue. But if it's once in a while, I think you got to give yourself an inject button.

Um, I have about one once a year, one to two a year where I just say" it's not happening today" the world has decided it's angry, and maybe for some reason. And so I am going to check out and although that is a luxury, I think everyone has a version of that, that they can do, uh, that would alleviate some of the pressures of the world, you know, give up your agency for the day.

Stop trying to change the world. Stop trying to make, uh, make strides, just relax, take it easy, and, uh, cool it down. And I think your telltale signs or you're told as you put them, uh, are an incredibly useful way to, uh, to check-in if something like that is happening.

[00:57:16] Jonathan Friedman: If like, rest is a productive thing.

And when you feel like things are absolutely out of control, it's unlikely that you would be successful doing those things that you know, you'd be doing when you tough it out, per se. Um, it's, it's often even more from a pro productivity standpoint, just a better thing to do to just, you know, take the L to take that.

And yeah. Yeah. I, I feel, I feel really good about that. That question was, uh, obviously I'm Barbara is mine, but it was on my mind as well.

Yeah. Thanks, Barbara.

[00:57:51] Jon Rom: Thanks, Barbara.

[00:57:53] Jonathan Friedman: Um, so if you like Barbara, have any questions that you'd ever want to submit, or that have been burning in your mind that you want to ask.

You're welcome to submit them to us at Jonathan's with an at thejournalthattalksback.com. And if you've been enjoying our podcast, we invite you to leave us a review. Tell us your thoughts, uh, on Apple podcasts, on Spotify, on all the podcasting platforms, reviews, help us spread the word and help people like Bruce and lake Squidward.

Who's been going through some tough times? It had a lot of big thoughts too, uh, get the coaching they need, and to also help people like Barbara who have been sharing their amazing questions with us, we're on Instagram. Uh, soon to be Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, uh, we're posting stuff on there all the time.

Um, we'd love for you to, you know, check us out. If something resonates with you give us a, like, give us a share, give us a, uh, wow react on Facebook. Because the way we act is the most important reaction.

Uh, Jon

[00:59:01] Jon Rom: Tell, tell your grandma.

[00:59:03] Jonathan Friedman: Tell, tell your grandma.

[00:59:05] Jon Rom: You tell your grandma, go, go to your, go to your grandma, go to Grammie and be like, I want to share this thing with you that's in my life. Um, I know you have a bridge with the girls in an hour, but if, since we have an hour, I want to tell you about this podcast I've been listening to and have a special moment with you, with your Jima.

[00:59:27] Jonathan Friedman: And if you were wondering where else you can find us. The only other social media media media media platform we're available on is NMU.

It's sponsored by the council of Jonathan's and we're hoping you check it out.

[00:59:51] Jon Rom: Character coaching is a production of The Journal that Talks Back a product at Frame of Mind coaching. To get accessible coaching for just $200 a month, [01:00:00] book a free intake call thejournalthattalksback.com. Our music is The Swindler by The Original Orchestra, featuring Ian Post. Our editing is done by one of the Jonathans on the show, which one? We will never tell.