In today’s episode, host Calan Breckon and guest Drummond Fulcher dive into the uncomfortable for a conversation that revolves around cancel culture, the “either you’re with me or against me (or us)” mentality, giving space for the in-between where conversation happens, how bridges are where understanding is born, and where we need to go in order to work through the uncomfortable feelings in order to learn and grow.
Together they unpack questions like:
- Why do people avoid being uncomfortable?
- How do you think cancel culture affects our community?
- How do we make space in our lives for being uncomfortable and having hard conversations?
Take a listen to find out how you can better navigate uncomfortable conversations and begin building more bridges of understanding and compassion in your life today.
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All right. Welcome to another episode of gay men going deeper, a podcast series where we talk about personal development, sexuality, and mental health. I’m your host today Calan Breckon and my guest on today’s show is Drummond Fulcher. Did I Pronounce that right? Yes. Good. Awesome. Okay. Drummond is an L G B T Q life coach,
an activist who works with gay men to help them connect with their most authentic versions of themselves. He has his own podcast series called positive talks, where he brings a large variety of guests on his show to help show his audience new perspectives of the world together. We’re gonna be talking about making space for being uncomfortable today. And I am really excited to have this chat because the trend of cancel culture or this energy of either you’re with us or against us,
or you’re with me or against me, it isn’t allowing for that space in between where conversations happen, where the bridges get built and understanding is born where we need to go in order to work through our uncomfortable feelings in order to learn and grow as people. So in today’s episode, we’re gonna be exploring questions. Like why do people avoid being uncomfortable? How do you think cancel culture affects our community and how do we make space in our lives for being uncomfortable and having those hard conversations.
So this podcast and YouTube channel are listener and viewer supported. If you’re enjoying what, you’re, what we’re creating, you can support us by heading over to the Patreon page and contributing to the show. You can also subscribe to the early access option on apple podcasts and listen ads free and gain early access to episodes. All your support helps us to continue making content for you and supporting our community.
And we thank you in advance. I also wanna remind everybody that we have our new attachment style quiz in the show notes. So if you wanna find out what your attachment style is, head into the show notes and grab that free report. And with that, let’s jump into today’s episodes. So I want to thank you so much for joining me today.
Drum, how are you doing welcome to the show I’m doing phenomenal and thank you so much for having me Nice. So this conversation, we are gonna get very into the nitty gritty of everything. And I’ve, I’m really excited to talk about this because I hate cancel culture. It fucking drives me crazy. And I think it’s because I’ve done the work and I like to sit with those kinds of things,
but let’s how about you introduce yourself a little bit more, any fun tidbits and facts, and then we can jump into the questions and unpack today. So go ahead. Introduce yourself to our lovely audience. Yeah, most definitely. Hey everyone, I am drumming falter. I would say that this topic is perfect and on par with what I kind of do for work.
I actually am part of a clubhouse room called making the uncomfortable, comfortable with my friend B, where in a lot of situations I put in an uncomfortable position where we kind of talk about race and sexuality and gender, as well as L G BT. So in a lot of positions, I think that I’ve realized that fighting for the L G B T community.
I played a very specific role, but then when I put myself into other spaces where my role was very different and I kind of had to modify what I was doing and how I was speaking on certain topics, it really made me realize that we have to be more aware of the roles we play in different places in our life. And I think that conversations like this are uncomfortable because I think that we can only go through life doing and knowing what we know.
And sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes we put ourselves in situations where uncomfortable conversations have to be had. And I think in a lot of times in those situations, fear pops up, anger pops up. And I think that some of those things we have to realize it’s okay to feel, but it doesn’t give us the excuse not to have these conversations. So I’m super excited about doing this one.
Yeah, me too. I’m real excited to like jump right into the thick of it. So in saying that, how about we jump into question number one, which is why do people avoid being uncomfortable? Or why do you think people avoid being uncomfortable? I personally going from my own experiences of uncomfortable conversations, that I’ve been a part of. I had to learn how to admit that.
I didn’t know something. I think that a lot of times we stand so strong behind things that we believe and say that if we are found to be wrong, it’s hard to admit that it’s hard to just be like, you know what, maybe what I know isn’t correct. Maybe I need to open my mind a little bit further. So I think that for me,
the first time I allowed myself to like, let those walls down and just be like, maybe I am wrong. Maybe there’s more for me to learn here. That’s when I started to realize that these uncom uncomfortable conversations were actually helping me grow as a person, but before there was definitely a wall there that was preventing me from growing in certain ways. So I think fear of being found out,
not understanding and not being right, is something that prevents a lot of people from having those conversations. Because we live in a world where we want to appear the best we can be. We want to be the smartest. We want to be the richest. We want there’s so much of the world that makes us think that we have to look a certain way to be accepted by others.
And I think a lot of times uncomfortable conversations, we have to kind of give all that up. Yes. I’m like everything that you just said. I was like, yes, yes, yes. Because in my head, the, the whole cancel culture or you’re with me are against me. That’s those walls that it’s saying, you know what? I have a belief.
And because I have this belief, I am right in I’m, self-righteous in my belief to the point where I am unwilling to open my ears and to listen to other perspectives. And when you put up those walls and you’re unwilling to go on that adventure and to get curious, that blocks you from that growth in your life, you just continue to believe what you believe to the extremes.
And then you tend to get more and more and more extreme instead of opening up your mind, opening up the curiosity and going, you know what, maybe there’s something here that I don’t know. And I think a lot of this can be traced back to our childhoods and how we were raised because a lot of us were raised on the belief system that the outcome was the important part,
not the journey. So it was like getting the a was all that mattered. It didn’t matter how much Stu studying you did to get that a, it only mattered that you got the a or winning is the only thing that really matters. Doesn’t matter how you get there, but that you need to win because, you know, that’s why people cheat and all of these other things.
And so we have this mentality where we believe that the outcome is the only important thing. And if you have this conversation or if you have these hard conversations come up and you’re in this whole, well, I need to win because that’s the only important part of this. Then you’re gonna be blocking yourself out instead of going in with a curiosity mindset and going,
I don’t know what, I don’t know. Let’s have an open mind and let’s listen to what’s going on here. And I wanna make a point that’s really, really, really important because I don’t think enough people understand the difference is that understand does not equal agreement and giving yourself that time and that space to understand something, to sit with somebody and to listen to their point of view,
it does not mean that you are agreeing with them or that they’re winning or anything like that is going on. It just means that you’re giving yourself the time and the presence and the grace in order to take in all the information so that you can understand on a deeper level and then continue to make your own decision around that. But that does not mean you are agreeing with what that person says.
You can still politely disagree with their point of view, but you are willing to come to the table and to sit and go, Hey, I wanna get your point of view so that I can understand you more because I believe that’s where the bridges are built. That’s where, you know, the community can come together and to grow, even though we have differences.
So what are your thoughts around that? Yeah, so I grew up in a very conservative area here in Virginia, and I was very thankful for the fact that I left. I moved away and kind of lived in big cities before I came back to Virginia. And it made me realize that there is definitely some echo chambers that exist within our cities, especially when it came to G T communities.
Because when I was living in the cities, I felt like we had progressed very quickly, very fast. I was just like, wow, the world is getting so much better for the G T community. And when I came back to the smaller towns, the rural areas, I realized that barely anything had changed from when I had left. And I,
I think that a lot of times we get so stuck in our echo chambers and I mean, social media hasn’t made it any easier for us. A lot of people are preaching to the choir and they don’t realize that they’ve really cut off any external, like education points from anyone who has different views than them. And I think that as a society, we have gotten really bad at having conversations with anyone who thinks differently than us.
And I think that moving back to a role place for me, knowing that I worked with coworkers that were teammates that were amazing people on my team, but we had very different political views or very different views and stances on women’s rights, G B T rights and all those different things. Where if I had just allowed that to be the block, not to get to know these people,
I wouldn’t have been able to have a lot of the really amazing conversations that I had, where they had a communication barrier. I had one as well, but then when we started having a conversation, we started realizing that there was a lot of similarities that we agreed upon. It was just that upfront belief that is kind of the wall creator for a lot of people that was different,
but it even made me realize that the way I think the views I have is because of the experiences I’ve had in my lifetime. Whereas some people who have lived in rural areas that have never been anywhere past the county lines of the schools that we went to as kids where generation upon generation, or just building off of each other’s beliefs, it made me realize that those uncomfortable conversations were actually enlightening these people to perspectives that they’ve never had presented to them before.
And I had to allow myself to be that person in that conversation that could hear something that was just, it made my blood boil, but just remain calm and continue to listen. Because somewhere in their belief system, they believe everything that they’re saying just as much as I believe what I’m saying. So it, it’s definitely been a journey, but it’s one that I’m grateful for and I’m learning more and more as I go.
I, yeah, I, I understand that because as I, you know, go through life and as I get older and I have more of these experiences and I talk to more people, I am learning that, you know, the human experience is so complex that to try and put anybody in any box is just pointless. And the more that I can learn and open myself up to those experiences,
the more that I can grow. And the more that I can have compassion for, for having these conversations with people, I mean, I’ve even dated people who were like the complete opposite spectrum of the, you know, political party spectrum, because I don’t allow one thing to be that block and be like, oh, well, you’re this. Or,
you know, you’re, let’s use this example. You’re conservative. So I’m gonna write all conservatives off. They all believe this. They all have this belief system. This is exactly who they are. And it’s like, okay, well, that’s just the perception that maybe many people have, but just because that’s the perception or that’s, what’s been echoed doesn’t mean that that’s the actual reality of when you get face to face with people.
And when you actually have those conversations, because I believe, and I have to carry this through life that every single person is doing the best they can with what they have. And if I truly believe that to my core, I have to believe that even though we have different political beliefs, that they are doing the best they can with what they have and what they understand.
And that the only way any of us are ever gonna go grow or change or evolve is if they have people in their lives who are compassionate enough to sit and listen and understand their points of view and why they have those points of view instead of like yelling and screaming at them to change that they’re wrong. Do you ever wanna change when somebody yells and screams at you and tells you that you’re wrong?
No, of course, it’s gonna put up your walls. It’s gonna turn on the fight or flight. You’re gonna get your back. You’re gonna get really like angry and your blood’s gonna boil and then no real true communication is going to happen. You have to be able to come to the table and sit and go, okay. You know what? This might be uncomfortable,
but I’m willing to come and learn the things that I don’t know, because even if you still walk away and you’re like that, that guy’s still a fucking asshole. Even if you do that, at least you gave yourself the opportunity and the chance to learn. Maybe why they’re an asshole, because maybe they have experiences that like on the outside, you can’t see people’s lives.
You can’t see their experiences. They might have had experiences that explain why they are the way they are. It doesn’t excuse it. Maybe they gotta go to therapy and work through it. But that could also be you sitting with them, having that conversation can also be the bridge to that conversation where they go, oh, you know what, you know,
people in this community, aren’t, you know, pedophiles and all these things that they say about, you know, the haters of the LGBTQ community, that, and then you could be that bridge to them and be like, no, we’re just literally normal people. And then that can open their mind to being like, well, maybe I need to open myself up a little bit more to this,
but that only happens through compassion and through having difficult conversations. I love there’s. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this person, but her name’s Glenn and Doyle. And she wrote the book untamed, and she has a podcast called we can do hard things. And it’s kind of became like the mantra throughout the pandemic. But I truly believe in that,
that we can do hard things. We just have to give our space the time to work through it and go through it. So, in saying that I’m really curious, how do you think cancel culture has been affecting our community and how has maybe it been a detriment to our community where we cancel all these, not all these people, this is gonna sound bad,
but like, I’ve seen it in the community. Let me use this example. I’ve seen it where to remember where in Taylor swift released her, her song. Oh, What was it called? You need to calm Down. You need to calm down. And like, I think Calan directed it. And there was so many gaze in it. And like,
I thought it was fabulous, but she got attacked by so many of the, like so much of the community being like, no, this is wrong or this. And they’re getting so mad. And in my head, I’m like, okay. So we’re yelling at, you know, our heterosexual heteronormative counterparts to support us and help us and to be allies.
But then when they do something, we yell at them that they’re not doing it right or correctly. And I, it, it drives me crazy because I’m just like, Y I don’t get what you want. Like you just, and it comes down to the point where I’m like, you’re just angry. Like, if you’re just angry, you’re just gonna be angry.
And I feel like that cancel culture does such a detriment, cuz there’s not enough people willing to just kind of sit with it. So I’m curious, how do you think cancel culture has affected the community and where have you seen it play out? I think like with the whole Taylor swift situation, I think that there’s a lot of healing that needs to be done.
And a lot of people, I think that once healing is done, you start to see people as people and we all make mistakes. We all, I mean, no matter how she did it, she would’ve been doing it wrong to someone. You can’t please the whole world. But I think that once you kind of remove like the stuff that you need to heal from,
you see that in people like you’re like, you know what? I like the way that she did this, I wish she had done it this way. But I think that she did a great job with what she had. She brought in amazing people that have amazing followings that are also out there doing what they need to do. But I think with cancel culture,
like you, you never know what it’s going to like hit. And I think that for me personally, being someone who does podcasts that are live, like I don’t do any editing before or after. It’s just like it is going to come out the way it is. And cancel culture has always been something that is on the back of my mind as I started growing on social media,
because I was bringing guests on to have conversations about religion, about police officers, like about race, about all the things that were very hot topics that people had very strong opinions about. And I think that in cancel culture, we refuse to see people as people, we see them as someone with a singular idea. And if that idea is not aligned with ours,
we assume cancel is the only way. And I, I don’t think we ever give people the right to grow and we assume that people will believe one thing, no matter what. And that’s just because we don’t give them any other opportunity to show us that their minds could be changed or that they could be educated and grown as people. But I think that that’s something that we all do.
We do it to ourselves. We do it to the people around us that we love as well. And I think that with cancel culture, there are definitely people out there that are doing some harm in the world. But once again, canceling them doesn’t help them grow. It. Doesn’t like the biggest thing that like boils my blood when cancel culture happens is we’re raising these people up on pedestals,
whether we want to or not. And what’s happening is those opinions that they shared that we could have helped them grow out of, or understand why people oppose that thought. But instead we’re raising them up with that negative opinion or opinion we don’t agree with. So that they’re so high up there that other people with those same thoughts now gather together and support that person.
Now this person’s, platform’s bigger than some of the people that are trying to do really good things out in the world. So it’s just, we have to realize that cancel culture doesn’t really work the way we want it to work. You’re not canceling an idea. You’re not canceling an opinion. You’re just yelling that you don’t support it and then helping them grow that.
But when it comes to other people who are trying to do good and get hit with cancel culture, like we’re all human, we’re all imperfect. Like you said, we’re only able to like provide the world with services based upon the knowledge that we have from our life experience. And unfortunately that’s imperfect. I mean, even as an L G BT activist,
like I’m constantly having to educate myself. And honestly, since I started doing my podcast, the amount of books and literature that I’ve been pulling into my life on a very regular basis has like quadrupled because I just want to make sure that I’m not doing any harm to the communities. I’m trying my hardest to support. But I think that’s an important aspect is that you are actively trying to learn and we should all be actively trying to learn and move and navigate this and that.
None of us are gonna be perfect. And I wanna talk more about this idea that you brought up about canceling, not allowing that person to grow because in the back of my head, I’m like, well, wait, hold on a second. If we’re yelling at this person that they’re wrong, isn’t the whole goal or the end of it to be,
you know, have them think differently and to agree with what we say. But then when they do start coming around, they still get people mad at them because they’re like, oh, you’re faking it. This isn’t real. So I wanna talk more about this idea of like allowing people to grow and that there needs to be more space for that. And that I think comes with having these uncomfortable conversations or allowing yourself to be part of these uncomfortable conversations.
Because I think that’s part of that journey is that we need to allow people to grow just like we need to allow ourselves to grow. Yeah. And I think that with cancel culture, when we attack them for growing and we attack them for their original statements, what we’re really doing is we’re just saying that we just don’t accept you as a person. Like no matter what you do,
it’s, it’s not going to be acceptable anymore. And in that way of thinking, like why should someone put in the effort of trying to grow and change themselves if they’re going to get the same results, no matter what. So when we’re showing the world that that’s how they’re going to be treated, then why not stick their like heels in the dirt and stay where their original opinion started and just grow a following that also shouts the same things that they shout.
And I think that there’s a lot of celebrities out there that do the right thing and don’t get the right amount of support from it. I always tell people like when you’re attacking someone like Taylor swift or Sean Mendez or other celebrities that are somewhat putting their foot out there and saying, Hey, I support the LGBT community. I always remind them. I’m like they could be doing the opposite.
I would rather have a million imperfect allies for our community that slip up and say the wrong thing and allow me the space and time to say, Hey, maybe next time, say it this way. Versus she could have easily said, you know what, take the video down done. I don’t wanna support this community anymore. I’m putting my funds towards anti GMB community stuff for now on.
They seem to be a lot more supportive. So I always try to get people to remember, like, you can easily make people stop. Like if you’re too hard on people, if they’re not in the right position, if they’re not strong-willed people, if you attack them, like her career does not depend on the community. Like, so it just,
you have to realize that when people continue to fight for what they believe in, even after something like that, like she’s a very strong-willed ally. And I appreciate her and all the others who continue to fight even after they kind of get that intense pushback. And I just, I know from experience that constant criticism is just so exhausting. Like it’s just so exhausting.
And I know it’s exhausting for the people doing it. And cuz I used to be very critical when I was younger. And then I went through an evolution and a growth and I was like, man, it’s so exhausting to just constantly be pointing out flaws in other people and constantly be criticizing and being on the other side of those critics because we definitely have them for this podcast for everything.
That’s why I constantly let it be known on this podcast. I am not perfect. Do not expect me to be perfect. Do not expect me to agree with everything you say. Do not expect me to understand everything about you. I am just as human as everybody else going on this journey as you are. I just happen to know the things that I know and I continue to learn and grow as I do that.
But then I see these things like where people will go on Twitter and they’ll like go through years and years and years ago and find like this one tweet that somebody said and bring it up and be like, we need to be mad at this person because they said this seven years ago and it’s just like, do we not have the, the compassion to be like,
oh, but people change because that’s what we’re supposed to do as humans. And then even when they come out and apologize and be like, oh my God. Yeah, that was like seven years, eight years ago. Like, I’m sorry. Of course my beliefs have changed and all this other stuff, people are like, no, we don’t believe you.
You have to be the same. Like what can people do? Do you think to start moving away from that criticism and to start moving towards, you know, cultivating more positivity in their life or cultivating more of this building, bridges energy, what did you do when you first started coming across this in your life with moving back to the rural area and coming across these conversations of like,
oh, we need to have these hard conversations. I need to give somebody space. What was your steps of going through that process? It was honestly self-healing. I had to truly believe that me, who I am is enough is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and forgiving of the mistakes that I made, because I mean, even I can go back and cringe at some of the things I once upon a time said in the past and it’s just being forgiving.
And I think seeing people as people again, and what I mean by that is when you’re yelling at someone, what are you yelling at? Are you yelling at a person standing in front of you or are you yelling at a Republican? Are you yelling at a like anti this or like a lot of times we’re yelling at the label that we’ve given this person.
Because if you see people as people, you realize that we’re all imperfect, that we’re all just trying to like live the best life we can. I mean, life is hard. The world doesn’t make it easy for anyone. And I think that when I started to do the self healing for myself, I realized that when I was in a state of being healed,
that I didn’t feel the need to try to find reasons to hate other people. I wanted to help other people learn how to love themselves, the way that I was able to love myself in that moment. And that’s something that I’m constantly trying to get towards with myself because there’s always something that I can heal and grow within myself. And when I’m in that state of mind,
I start to see people as people like, even someone who’s completely, I just saw them screaming and doing something that I completely disagreed with. I’m like, okay, this is someone’s grandmother. This is someone’s sibling. This is someone’s child. But like when you start to humanize people and realize that they exist in the same realm that you do. I think that that’s when I started to realize that I could have conversations that are uncomfortable because it’s like,
once you’ve healed yourself, you start to see the things that people are saying are triggers that they’re trying to get you upset so that you blow up so that you are unable to see the things that they’re struggling with. The things that they’re afraid to show the world. And once you kind of take those glasses off, you’re no longer looking at a monster.
You’re seeing a person that’s like suffering. And because at the end of the day, when you look at happy people, when you, you see people who have gone through the process of healing, their traumas, they’re not doing the things that the people who are out there screaming and attacking people are doing out of fear, out of pain. Like I think it’s important for people to realize that.
And that’s something I remind myself when even people who are super close to me do things that upset me. I’m like, they’re human. Okay. Look at them and see them as a human again, pull yourself back. Like a lot of times when you’re upset with the people, it’s because they’ve hit one of your triggers. And I always ask myself,
what is this trigger? How can I heal it? Because apparently it’s still bringing me pain and what making me wanna attack someone. So how can I heal this part of myself and then start that journey. And I always tell people, those triggers are key to the self, like healing journey that each of us are on. The more you start to pick up on those and heal them,
instead of just say, oh, that’s just the way I am. You start to realize that there’s a lot of growth around you. There’s a lot of opportunity for growing and being a more authentic version of yourself than just saying, it’s a trigger. And this is how I am. This is who you are. If you believe that way, then there’s not gonna be a lot of connection between you and that person.
Yes. Which is very unfortunate. And that’s, you know, there is a lot of people who do live that world. They let their emotions control them. Instead of getting curious about them and owning it. It was in a recent episode that I talked about, you know, you have to own your own emotions and your own feelings and your own thoughts.
And like it’s not the world’s job to put a bubble around you and to make you feel good, it’s your job to learn resilience and how to navigate the world around you and how to make it a more enjoyable space for yourself because nobody else is gonna come and do it for you. You’re an adult. I mean, chances are, if you’re listening to this podcast,
you’re an adult. So it’s your responsibility to live your life, the way that you want it to be lived. And if you want it to be lived happier, you need to learn how to navigate that and to get there. And it’s a journey like it’s a fucking slog. Sometimes it took me a lot of years to get outta some negative spaces that I’ve been in,
in my past. And in regards to like navigating these difficult conversations, I’m gonna speak more specifically in like a, a relationship or friendship when you’re having a difficult conversation or when like a, you know, a fight is coming up out or something like that, that there are physical things that you can do that help you, you know, instead of being standing,
make a conscious effort to sit down because automatically what happens when you sit down is that ground your energy. And that brings the level down. Because if you’re standing, it gives you this, you know, a, you know, puff out your chest kind of energy. But when you sit down, it allows you to ground yourself in it and go,
okay, let’s just sit for a second. And let’s just kind of like take a breath. And another thing that you could do or that you should do is like try and keep a level voice. I know we all want to be heard and by raising your voice and screaming, this is you saying, this is how I’m gonna be heard because I’m gonna be heard regardless,
but it’s, I found it more effective to get quieter because then the other person has to be quieter in order to listen. And if the other person isn’t quiet enough to listen, then it means that this conversation isn’t gonna be a productive one. And if it’s in that space where it’s like, okay, this person’s not gonna be in a space where they can actually listen and take in what I’m hear what I’m saying and vice versa that I need to be in a space where I can hear.
Maybe you need to ask for that space for that time to go, Hey, we need a few minutes or I need a few hours to go gather your thoughts to continue. And this can happen in the workplace as well. You have a disagreement, you know, things get heated. It’s more than okay to say, Hey, I need to take a couple minutes.
I need to take a beat. I just need to go. And like kind of process my thoughts before I let my emotions take over because what’s happening at that point is like your prefrontal cortex has gone offline and your amygdala has taken over because it’s like the fight or flight. And so your actual, like logical thought processes are not working. And so by giving yourself that space,
it gives you time for your brain to come back online for your prefrontal cortex to start really thinking things through and to start, you know, not saving your life, but to just kind of bring things back down to normal. And it gives you that time to think things through. So give yourself that space, give yourself that time. And if people don’t respect that boundary,
that’s you, that’s on you. You need to learn to say, this is my boundary. This is healthy. This is healthy for me. This is healthy for you. And maybe they can’t recognize that in that moment, but it’s gonna play out a lot better later on when you can actually have a rational and reasonable conversation. And then when you go into that conversation,
be curious and ask those open ended questions of being like, okay, I’m coming into this with my own beliefs and my own perspectives, but I’m gonna allow myself to ask open ended questions and to be curious, and to go into that conversation, seeking, understanding, not seeking to be heard or make your point. And I think that that’s really important with these conversations is that the whole purpose of these conversations of being uncomfortable and making like,
you know, having yourself go through it is that you are listening with the intent to understand what the other person is saying and to understand where they are coming from. And I’m taking this back again to the fact that understanding does not equal agreement. Understanding means that I’m a human I’m recognizing that you are a human and that you have your own perspectives, thoughts,
and feelings, and that I’m taking those in so that I can comprehend them so that I can make my own informed decision about what’s going on in this moment. But that does not mean, I agree with what you, you have said, but these are practical steps that somebody can take in order to move through kind of these more, maybe more intense,
difficult conversations. But like, these are just like real physical things that helped me move through that because I know if I’m standing up like, well, forget about it. Like it’s just instinct takes over. And so by sitting down, lowering my voice, reminding myself to keep quiet, taking a beat, taking some time if I need, like, I’m the person who’s like,
this is like too much for me right now. I need like some time to process this. And I’ve had people try and chase me. And I’m like, this is my boundary. You cannot process boundary. This is a hard line in the sand for me. If you cross this boundary, this is game over. So it’s like, I need this.
And I’m sorry that that does not work with you, but this is the way it has to be for me. Otherwise, this whole thing is gonna fall apart. And so then that is also teaching that person what healthy boundaries are, cuz if they’re chasing you and if they’re forcing it, it means that that person has no idea what a healthy boundary is and that they need to learn that.
And the only way people will learn that is if it gets modeled for them. So I’m gonna get off my soapbox for that one. But do you have physical or practical ways that you’ve managed to navigate having these uncomfortable conversations? Is there things that you do or tips that you have for the listeners that can help them manage kind of, you know, getting uncomfortable?
Yeah. I mean, within our clubhouse room called making the uncomfortable, comfortable, we have a lot of things set up in the background to help the room exist in a space where we can be hit with anything at any time. And our private chat behind like a lot of times, if it hits us really hard, we’re like, Hey guys, I’m gonna take a step back.
Can someone else respond to this? And we’ve had people are like, no, I don’t want you. I want this person to respond. I’m asking this person. And we’re like, okay, we’re gonna give this person some space. That, that question is very triggering for them. So we’re going to have me respond and we’re gonna talk about it.
And I also like to, cause there are ways to exit a conversation that are very triggering to the person, sharing their opinion. That’s triggered us where we need to take a step back where we have to be aware that if we slap them with a hard trigger and then leave and come back, sometimes that conversation isn’t gonna be any better. So finding a statement,
that’s like an exit statement that is showing respect to this person with a different perspective and politely saying that you need to take some time to recover or get back to a space where this conversation can be continued. I always like to tell people like I am a person who celebrates differences. I try to surround myself with a diverse group of people. And I completely respect that you have an opinion,
very different than mine, but I need some time to kind of think about everything that’s been said just now so that I can come up with a response that’s respectful of your views as well as my own, just to kind of give people like the, Hey, I’m not disrespecting you. I’m not trying to cancel you. I’m not going to try to change your change,
your opinion, but I wanna make sure that my response is respectful to the fact that we do not see eye to eye. And I just kind of pull myself back to a point where I have to remind myself, this person is a person. All these statements that they’re making are based upon the journey that they took, that I know nothing about other than what is being shared with me at this time.
And it’s just pulling myself back to center, finding those triggers that hit me healing as much as I can so that I can come back to a space. And once again, hear a different opinion that isn’t as triggering to me, to where my response doesn’t slap them with something that sends them into a attack mode onto my beliefs. And I think that that’s something that I’ve had to work on a lot.
There’s been a lot of times when I’ve been put on panels to speak and I’m literally like shaking because I disagree so much and could not believe someone could have that opinion, but usually as long as I keep my cool, if my voice is shaking, when I’m speaking, I’m like, okay, you’re a little bit too much invested in this just because this person is not agreeing with you at this moment does not mean that they’re disagreeing with you.
It’s just, they are making a statement based upon their journey, your journeys, different, your opinions will be different. You can’t change their mind. If you’re yelling at them, you’re gonna shut them down. And for them to be able to change and grow, you can’t have them building walls and shutting down. So sometimes it does take like a week for me to recover from some conversations.
Like some of them are not easy at all. It’s not five seconds and I come back. So I think that we all have to know ourselves well enough to know whether or not we’re going to be in a position where the conversation’s going to take a healthy direction, or if it’s gonna be one of those that we’re gonna allow every trigger to be hit,
and we’re gonna blow up like a nuclear bomb. And we just have to know ourselves through that journey. And I wanna acknowledge that, like the pause is so important, like allowing yourself that space for the pause to say, Hey, I need to go collect myself. I need to go collect more information and I need to do more research about this,
or I need to just understand this more or process my thoughts. I don’t think enough of us allow ourselves to do that enough and that we also don’t allow other people to do that. Like we want the instantaneous, the world we live in is now, now, now it needs to be quick. You need to agree with me now. Like it needs to happen immediately.
And I really want to take a moment to praise Brene brown, because I know that she took a sabbatical off her podcast, unlocking us for a long time. Like, I think it’s been four months and she just came back today and she shared her story. Or at least when we’re recording, this is the day I listened to it. And she just came back with her story as to why she needed to take that pause.
And that it’s really important. And that kind of one side, I was like, I was disappointed cuz I really love listening to her podcast and it really energizes me and I really enjoy it and I appreciate it. And so not having an episode for four months, it kind of sucked. But then having this episode back because I value the pause because I value people,
taking their time and really thinking and doing their own research and being critical and having critical thought. I value that so much that when she shared her story, I, you know, I’m grateful. She took that because she wouldn’t be able to show up the way that she shows up. Had she not taken that pause. And that pause is where the growth happens.
That pause is where we give ourself the space to go, okay, I’ve taken in the information now, what do I do with it? Let’s go do some therapy. Let’s go, you know, do some meditating. Let’s just think on it. Let’s do some journaling. Let you know, let me take this to like my top five people, my really safe people and kind of have open and vulnerable conversations with them about why this is affecting me or why this pokes my buttons or why this,
you know, drives me crazy. An example can be, there’s a lot of people in the community who the word queer really affects them. Like it really pushes their buttons. And it’s, I find usually in an older generation and it’s because of what comes along with that experience that they went through with that word during their time. And so I can recognize that that is a trigger for people.
But then again, I also have to remind people that our triggers are our responsibility. So if that’s so triggering for you, then that means there’s work. That needs to be done around it. And to find out what that is and to do that work and then to sit with that and process it to the point where it no longer triggers you. Like that’s what our triggers bring up things that we need to look at and pay attention to so that we can process them,
move through them so that they’re no longer triggers in our lives because that, you know, means you have a more enjoyable experience where you’re not worried about people pushing up or rubbing up against you and like, you know, poking your buttons. You can move through the world a lot more effortlessly and enjoy your experience a lot more because you’re like, sure things rub up the wrong way.
But for the most part, I’m a pretty level person because I’ve done a lot of work to work through my triggers. So I think we’ve had a lot of really good ways that people can move through this. Are there any last things that you wanna say about, you know, getting uncomfortable and navigating these conversations that you wanna make sure that the listeners leave with today?
I think that you kind of touched on this when it came to like having an opinion. Like if you take a pause, when you’re in a conversation, we do not need to take time to make other people believe that we are right. We do not need to take the time to prove other people wrong. Like when you take that pause, don’t go away from that conversation to collect things,
to prove you’re right. Go and explore options that help you understand why someone else might have a different opinion. That wa that way when you come back, like you have a better understanding of the person that’s standing in front of you. I think that a lot of times I find myself in positions, in conversations with people where I’ve done the walking away and educating myself and trying to understand,
and I come back and I’m very aware that this person did not do the same for the view that I had. And I think that it’s important for us to realize that in conversations with other people, it’s always best to ask more questions to better understand the person in front of you. Because if you get them to the point where they feel understood, they will also be in a position where they might want to understand you better as well.
But if we are both coming into the conversation, forcing our views and thinking that bringing more data to prove that we’re right is going to connect you. It won’t, you have to realize that the point of conversations is we know our stance already. So let’s educate ourselves by asking questions about people who have different views and realize like you said, it does not mean that they’re right.
When I nod my head, when people are saying things, it means I am listening. I’m acknowledging that they’re speaking, I’m being respectful to the fact that their opinion is different and they are using this time to help me understand. But at the end of those conversations, it’s okay to say, I understand why you have those views and the journey that has taken you.
There has solidified a lot of those views. Hopefully this area, and this time has helped you understand some views that are different than yours, but it’s okay for us to both walk away from that conversation. Still having beliefs that we had before the conversation started. But now we’ve got some extra things that we can add to that, that we can maybe in the future,
dive a little deeper into, or bring that conversation to other people who maybe be able to get to translate it in a way that we understand it better. Because when it came to like the black lives matter movement, there was a lot of people that they were not connecting with me on a level. I am a very loving person. And when there’s a lot of anger in any type of conversation,
I do not relate to people in anger, even when it came to like them trying to compare it to the G B T fight for equality. I cannot connect with them by anger. It took people in the black lives matter fight that were using compassion to move that movement forward for me to connect with them and understand them. And then I started to understand the people’s frustration and anger,
but I wasn’t able to connect with them in the beginning. Cause I connect with people more through compassion. And I think that that’s important for people to realize that don’t give up on trying to understand something just because one or two people don’t connect with you in a way to help you understand it. Sometimes educators need to connect with other educators, fighters have to connect with other fighters.
We all have our own language. Even if we’re seeking English, we all have our own languages that we also connect with people on deeper levels. And it’s important for you to realize that you have to find those people to help kind of connect you to a movement or a cause to help you better understand it. Don’t just give up because one person you don’t see eye to eye on something That is so important.
And I’m so glad you shared that, cuz it’s true. Maybe you just need to hear it differently from a different person. And that’s why having that, you know, you, people you trust in your life that have different opinions is so important. I know so many people who live in those echo chambers of like my friends all believe the same thing and we all live the same type of life and everything’s very similar.
And I really challenge those people to have different groups of friends and have different people in their lives who live differently because it allows you to see things from different points of view. And that’s very important to have, especially when you’re collecting data around your experience and their experience like, okay, well I, as a gay white man experience something like this, but you know,
my straight black female friend is going to experience things very differently. And it’s important to have those differences around you in order to at least be able to understand and have the conversations so that you can open your eyes because you know, you need to have that. And when you live in an echo chamber, you don’t allow yourself that space to do that.
And I think a lot of cancel culture and a lot of the things we spoke about today is because people live in those silos or put themselves in those silos and they don’t challenge themselves to get out of there or at least to make new friends in different ways because the fear around making new friends or having different opinions, we haven’t learned how to navigate these conversations very well over our generations.
And I think that that’s where a lot of the work needs to be done now is, you know, creating these conversations and, and being able to open up and have them and give that safe space for people to talk about things that they don’t know about that make them uncomfortable, but that they wanna learn about, but also recognize you’re not gonna be perfect at it,
but it’s not about being perfect. There’s no such thing. It’s about just being able to show up to the conversation and say, Hey, I’m gonna get it wrong, but I wanna be here. I wanna be here. I wanna listen. I wanna learn. So let’s, let’s dive in. I wanna thank you so much for coming on. Today’s show.
It’s been so fantastic. Where can people find out more about you if they want to know more? So I have my website, drumming culture.com and pretty much every social media platform is drum and culture. So sign up for my newsletter. I put stuff out there so people know what’s coming. I’ve got a couple things coming down the drain pipe for me to kind of work on.
And I’m working on that as I, I, I like to think that like life is kind of raining down on me, lots of different fun stuff. And I am getting to choose which projects to work on now. So as things kind of start to come towards fruition, I will let people know what to expect, but drumming culture, everywhere, drumming culture.com,
sign up for the newsletter and I’ll definitely keep everyone updated. Awesome. And I’ll definitely make sure that we have those links in the show notes today. So if you like this episode, please, if you’re watching on YouTube, hit that thumbs up button and hit the subscribe and hit the little, be it notifies you every Thursday, when we put out new episodes and it also tells YouTube that this is a fantastic show.
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sharing is caring and it’s important to have these conversations. I wanna thank my guest drum in today for coming on and having this conversation and digging into some stuff that makes people uncomfortable. Cuz I know sometimes these conversations definitely make people uncomfortable. That was the point of today’s show. We will be back next Thursday with a new episode for you on gay men going deeper,
but until then have the best day ever. Please love rainbows everybody. Bye Bye.