The Pandemic of Drama

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Nicole Walters Podcast

The Nicole Walters Podcast

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SHOW NOTES

He is back! Your favorite therapist and drama expert, Dr. Scott Lyons!

Friend, today we’re asking Dr. Scott some hard questions about why we are the way we are online. Why do we cross boundaries? How do we handle an onslaught of criticism in our DMs? What has vulnerability cost us?

Dr. Scott has so much wisdom to share. He breaks down why we feel invested in our favorite creators online and how we naturally fill in the gaps of what we know and don’t know about them.

Don’t miss this one friend and remember, you can now WATCH every episode on Youtube!

Let’s keep this conversation going over on Instagram! Find Dr. Scott at @DrScottLyons and myself at @NicoleWalters.

 

Nicole:

Friends, so there’s stuff going on and I had to bring my absolute fave, your absolute fave, Dr. Scott back, because we’re talking about drama again. Why? Because this is who I am. Why am I like this? Why are you like this? We’re gonna find out. Dr. Scott, thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Scott:

Omg I love you. Thank you for having me back.

Nicole:

If y’all don’t know, Dr. Scott Lyons is the author of Addicted to Drama, and he has every degree that’s ever been issued to mankind. He probably knows things about like bovine therapy, like I literally, like, I don’t, what don’t you know?

Dr. Scott:

I’m working on it.

Nicole:
<laughs> So I love having him here because we talk about, honestly, I’ll talk about choices I made or things that I’m seeing happen, but it’s always nice to have like a professional clinical eye to kind of figure out why are we like this, you know? So that’s, I have a thing I want to ask you and I’m hoping you’re interested in getting into it with me.

Dr. Scott:

Let’s get into it.

Nicole:

Okay, good. So, the thing I want to talk about is something that I have been seeing on the internet. My friend Sharon, Sharon says so. She’s got like a pretty big following. She talked about this recently, how a lot of creators are getting out of the industry, like Instagrammers, influencers, things like that, because they’re claiming mental health.

They’re just like, and not mental health, like work, you know, because a lot of us are entrepreneurs and it’s a lot, but mental health from trolls and just commentary, not even trolls, just kind of, oh, what type of curtains do you use? Or, wow, I can’t believe our kid’s hair looks like that. Things that, I think are seemingly not as mean as one would say or criticism or judgment per se, but they’re kind of inside thoughts.

Dr. Scott:

They’re crossing a boundary.

Nicole:

Exactly. They’re inside thoughts that are coming out that are making people now say, you know what? I don’t even know how to work my way around this anymore, and I just need a break from it. And so she mentioned something that I wanted to run to you.

That’s just been, it’s been staying in my head about how it may be less around the comments themselves, because we all get criticism every single day, but more around the volume of the comments.

And as someone who is kind of in this influencer space, navigating what it feels like to have people inquire about things that I am not trying to share. Tell me a little bit about that. How does the volume of negative feedback and criticism affect people in their lives?

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, I mean, there’s only so much anyone can take. And there’s a breaking point, we call that capacity, right? And then after capacity is flooding and flooding is the point where we can no longer metabolize what’s coming at us.

And we all know that like we all like I got this stresser and like this X is coming and whatever whatever whatever and all of a sudden we can’t think straight.

It’s like brain fog. We can’t sleep well. We can’t eat well. It’s like we can no longer organize ourself around our life.

Nicole:

And this makes sense to me because I think a lot of us, especially as moms, know what it’s like to feel flooded, right? To feel like, you know, especially if multiple kids, it’s like you just pray that they’re all keeping only one at a time. You pray that they’re keeping it together.

So a lot of us can understand that feeling. I think what I’m thinking of is more of this thing that feels relatively new. So when you are an influencer, share your life in any public capacity, back in the day it used to feel like there was kind of like a hard boundary, where if a celebrity had a baby we’re not talking about the kid or inquiring about the kid. Like there were just sort of unspoken rules like on the playground don’t talk about someone’s mama, you know, like that was understood right but i’d love to use the example of this um there was a recent feud between the classic, um, voice of our generation, Nicki Minaj, and just kidding. . I’m not

Dr. Scott:
I’m not sure how to respond to that. <laughs>

Nicole:
You’re like, Nicole, Nicole.. No, but Nicki Minaj, you know, and Meg Thee Stallion had a little like back and forth conflict. I don’t know the nuances. I’m approaching 40, but I do know they weren’t getting along. The young ladies were having an issue. And as part of that, someone decided to post the gravesite location of Meg Thee Stallion’s mother, and said, everyone, you know what to do.

And I think for me, the idea that someone was calling for vandalism of a gravesite and that that was even considered a rational thought process, which obviously whoever did it is not well.

Dr. Scott:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nicole:

They’re not well, but that people were responding to that and we didn’t see that as a hard line. Has, have we like broken ourselves around boundaries?

Dr. Scott:

I mean, yes and yes. Do you remember the movie Twilight? And they were like, you had to choose the side.

Nicole:
Oh yeah.

Dr. Scott:
And then it got messy on the playground.

Nicole:
It got messy on the playground.

Dr. Scott:

And it’s like that, that was like, I remember seeing that sort of like feud and going, oh, this is only the beginning.

Nicole:

Oh, wow. That’s where you’re what you’re there because you’re a therapist brain. So you don’t look at things normally.

Dr. Scott:

I’m like, this is not normal behavior. The ultimate investment in something that is not our business. And this is, this is the challenge in the age of authenticity. And it’s like, here’s the deal, like back in the gossip column days, like, do you remember those days?

Nicole:
I remember those days, page six, where it was like you’re combing for one line item, like socialite scene coming out of bungalow. You’re like, But what was she doing in there? We don’t know. Where’d she go after? We don’t know. But we saw her coming out. You know what I mean?

Dr. Scott:

The suspense. Yeah, yeah, and the suspense is provocative. It pulls you in, right? And now we have in the age of gossip columns, everyone has their own social media, every celebrity has gone and transformed their social media into essentially a gossip column.

Nicole:

And everyone is paparazzi.

Dr. Scott:

Everyone is paparazzi. Well f***ing said. And here’s the issue, is like, We, uh, we both have a social media following. And I, you know, If you are in the age of authenticity, As we are, It’s calling for you to like show every part of your life.

Nicole:

Every part. I actually, like, so, so. One of the common responses to, you know, whenever people are under this onslaught, right, you know, because again, the volume, it’s one thing to watch your business or your brand or your marriage or your child or whatever, your health, crumble in a isolated way where it’s kind of amongst my family or amongst my work or amongst my town even, but to have it happen where you literally have every day you can get like on a good day, I get 250 DMs, and that’s like positive, like, just like, you know, like, just nice people chatting with me.

If I go viral, it can be in the thousands, and I, God forbid, will never find out what it’s like when people are, like, upset, right? So, I don’t know how someone can handle and I don’t know if it’s ever been in a way where someone would ever get inundated with that much at one time. It feels like we’re in a time, kind of like the difference between a handgun and an assault rifle.

Like there’s, technologically, people now have the ability to do harm in a way bigger and faster than we’ve ever had before.

Dr. Scott:
It’s rapid fire.

Nicole:
And I don’t know if our bodies have evolved.

Dr. Scott:

We cannot hold that level of attack that quickly. It’s like, you know, when we talk about healing it refers to enough time, space, permission, support.

And when it’s rapid fire, we lose the space and the time needed to process things. And then we get flooding, like I said before. And I think like, you know, in this age of authenticity, we might be promoting ourselves and sharing our lives. And then people think, Oh, I’m invested.

Nicole:

Yes, that’s a thing people say, and they actually say it as a compliment. They say we’re invested in you, we’re invested in this relationship. Girl, tell me the details. We need to know.

Dr. Scott:
Yeah, and it’s none of your f***ing business,

Nicole:

So do I get to decide? Because I always say, Look, it’s my decision. I can show you my baby every day and then decide all of a sudden that my baby does not exist. And I don’t want to hear anything about it. But people are like, No, you chose to do this. We deserve access. Can you help me understand one?

Why are we like this? That’s like, literally, that could be the theme of any time I talk to you. Why are we like this? And then two, like, are they right?

Dr. Scott:

I think it’s not fair to put all the responsibility on any particular party, right? We, there, again, this is what gets likes. This is a branding choice, right? And on the other side of it, there is like the illusion of that there are boundaries. There’s just no more boundaries because it feels like oh you can show me anything. I can say anything in response. I’m now part of your life.

Nicole:

That part.

Dr. Scott:

You know how you had those friends that feel like they can say whatever the hell they want anytime?

Nicole:

I’m that friend Dr. Scott.

Dr. Scott:

Oh I know! <laughs>

Nicole:
I regularly say, so I’m about to cross your boundaries and I’m going just remind you that you have autonomy to tell me to shut the hell up.

Dr. Scott:
Yeah.

Nicole:

So this outfit is not doing anything for you, not you, y’all. If y’all are watching, he looks great. Shoulders, shoulders are shouldering. It is coming together, right? So this is not him, but Dr. Scott, I’m telling you like that’s me, so I get it.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, mass scale. We’re talking about mass scale, where it’s like we all feel like we have the permission. We are all your friends. If I have access to you and you are talking to me, I internalize that as it’s not just you’re talking to everyone. I feel like you’re resonating with me. If I have an emotion in my body, I coordinate that in my brain as we are friends.

Nicole:

That’s just science. That’s like hormones, like, or whatever it is.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah.

Nicole:

Wow.

Dr. Scott:

And so if I feel like we have that proximity, that closeness all of a sudden, I also lose that sense of boundary that I might otherwise go, I don’t know this person.

Nicole:
Right… So it’s so weird you say that because, you know, As somebody who’s been on the internet sharing aspects of my life for 12, 15 years, you know, I actually encourage and enjoy and appreciate that because I have what I like to call an earned relationship with a lot of people who’ve been following me since then.

So it’s weird because I’ll have people who will make comments that are clearly new. You know, and my community will say, Oh, you must be new here, girl, you know, and it’s true. And so it’s like when it’s someone who has been here a while, I do put more stock into it because I know they have more backstory in a way.

But then when you get someone who’s new, who’s just kind of like saying random things, you’re kind of like, where’d you even come from? You don’t know the details, but the truth is it’s the Internet. So like, no matter what, maybe there’s a level of boundary crossing I’m not allowing or embracing.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, there’s always like the social avatar phenomenon…

Nicole:
Oh talk about that.

Dr. Scott:
Ok so the social avatar phenomenon came out of this article that in which there’s this man in Japan who like altered his photo to be a woman on a motorcycle. And he essentially got a shit ton of likes.

And so he started altering all his photos and lived his social presence, his avatar presence as this woman until he got caught. Now, there’s all these things that also happen that most of us are living in some relative avatar state on social media. We’re not truly showing all of ourselves. We’re showing little moments that we curate.

And so it’s, we’re not saying, Oh, I’m feeling sad or maybe we exaggerate it and say, we’re feeling sad, whatever, essentially, we feel like will, will garner us the attention. And so part of what we recognize is in this avatar state, we say and do things we would not do in person.

Nicole:
Oh tell me more about that. Can you give me an example? Because I really agree with what you’re saying because for me in the interest of being as authentic as possible, the way that I manage my avatar state, if you will, as you’re describing is delay.

Like, so I still post me. I just give it space and time. And then that also allows me to edit as accordingly, not just for me, but for my kids and for people who are in my life, you know? So it is an avatar, but it’s an avatar because it is a trail mix without the cashews. You know what I mean? Like, so like I, like I may pluck out a few things ’cause they, no one needs to catch that, but you are telling me that this is something everyone does.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, I mean, I have quite a few patients who are celebrities and like, I am there with them in the trenches of their emotions.

Nicole:

That’s gotta be weird to like see them on social and you’re like, people don’t even know!

Dr. Scott:

No, and that’s the thing, and we’ve, and we’ve had these discussions of like, they’ll like post a selfie and it will be like this smiley, glowy, like, dewy facial that they just add in their posting, and then they come in, they’re like, I’ve had the worst day of my life, people have been attacking me all day on social media, and I’m like, can you tell me about what that was like to post that smiley photo of yourself and then to come in here, and that’s the dissonance of the social avatar versus the true self.

And we know from the research that the greater the dissonance, the greater the space between the character of us we are on social media and our true experience of ourself, the greater likelihood for severe depression.

Nicole:

Ooh, this is actually a very big deal because one of the things that I’ve received as sort of internet unsolicited feedback is, girl, it seems like you moved on really quickly, you know, like just in your life and your healing.

And it’s been about four years, you know, that I’ve been through the process of transitioning out of my relationship and into new ones and into more into myself and all of those things. So it wasn’t quick, it’s just that their timeline of when they knew about things makes it feel a little quicker but I do think it was quick in some contexts because I am who I am online, even if it is filtered or edited.

But what you’re saying is totally true about the disconnect, if you will, that can exist on some days, you know, and making a joke, but not making a joke, I’ve always set the bar really low, right? Like if you set the bar low and show people you at your most hot mess self, then honestly, it makes it really easy to be like, I’m having a rough day today.

I don’t really have much else to say. You’re not surprised to hear me say this, you know, your day may be trash too. And I just want you to know, you know, so I realized that there are a lot of people who often say to me they’re surprised at that vulnerability and it may be because of this phenomenon.

Dr. Scott:
Yeah, now I know you. And I love you and I don’t find your vulnerability performative at all.

Nicole:

Yeah. Well, because you also know in real life, you know I’m a hot mess.

Dr. Scott:
But a lot of the vulnerability we’re seen on social media is performative vulnerability.

Nicole:

Because it’s also new, by the way. Like you can actually timeline it where it’s like, you can scroll back and be like, oh, she’s really been like this for 10, 15 years. But even before I knew it was profitable or cool, this is just who I’ve been.

But you’re seeing people now who went from like, here’s my flat lay, my purse just fell on a table and it had all the perfect things in it to, I just want to let you know, mental health is real. And, you know, today I only ate one salad. Why? Because hard, you know? And you’re just kind of like, I don’t even understand cause girl, like, you know, and then you’re like, and that’s why I take such and such supplements. Hashtag ad. You’re like GIRL.

Dr. Scott:

Can we just have a moment that if you’re watching someone filming themselves crying, they had to do the setup. Y’all!

Nicole:
They set it up. And it’s so funny.

Dr. Scott:

And find the right lighting.

Nicole:

And find the right lighting and find the right angle.

Dr. Scott:
That’s not authentic.

Nicole:

And press stop record and like the thing that’s so weird about, or edit even, and like what’s weird about that is I’ve cried on the internet before because I surprised myself.

So like I’ll go on to share something and then I’m like, oh, oh, and usually it’s awkward because I’m like, I’m so sorry this is how, and then it becomes a whole thing, but it’s just so interesting to me that vulnerability and maybe you can speak to some of the science of this, of being addicted to drama, vulnerability has become profitable and I want to use another example that’s like kind of on the airwaves now.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the new docuseries that came out following Wendy Williams. Everyone’s talking about it.

Dr. Scott:

I heard about it.

Nicole:

Yeah, it’s tough to watch and um, you know. a mixed bag, right? Addicted to drama. I watched it, you know, to kind of see what everyone’s talking about, but also wish I’d never seen it, you know, and basically it’s, you know, been recently released that she’s been diagnosed with dementia and the entire course of the filming of the docuseries, her dementia is worsening and it just hasn’t been formally discussed.

They’re kind of, they claimed that they were documenting her, her rise back into media, her return to media, but it was very clear that, you know, her condition was degenerative and worsening and anyone who is non-professional can see that there’s an issue here, in a very serious way. And I’ve seen these types of documentaries where almost, you know, their vulnerability gives you additional compassion for them and helps their brand.

But this was not that.

Dr. Scott:

Was it vulnerability porn?

Nicole:
Is that a category?

Dr. Scott:

We call it vulnerability porn.

Nicole:

It’s like trauma porn?

Dr. Scott:

It’s like trauma porn, but I call it vulnerability porn.

Nicole:

So tell me about that because now the question is, did we cross the line? That’s like a lot of the undertone conversation right now is you filmed a person who wasn’t even aware that they were being filmed because we all know the signs of dementia.

I mean, they’re incoherent. They don’t recognize people. They’re doing things like, uh, rage outbursts, uh, disrobing themselves. You know, this is someone who is, who could not have consented to their portrayal. And yet we release this, you know, and they’re under legal guardianship and they release this, you know, at what point are we saying this should never, they’re profiting off, it’s wildly popular. Well, so what is it? What is happening?

Dr. Scott:

I mean, gosh, I mean, it’s heartbreaking to even hear that. And it, and it does say something about like, why are we interested? What about the fall of other people, the, you know, the drama, the crisis, the turmoil, the stress of other people, are we attracted to?

Nicole:

Tell me, tell me, cause that is the truth. Like, tell me, why do, why do, did my viewership go up when I announced I was going through divorce? People want to see if she makes it, you know, when I get married, people want to see, will she make it, you know, like, so tell me about that. Why are we attracted to pain like that?

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, pain is, I mean, well, well, first of all, some of it’s like relatable. Oh, I, I’ve been through a divorce. I want to hear how someone else is dealing with it.

Nicole:

But the first thing they want to know when someone young dies is how?

Dr. Scott:

How?

Nicole:

So why are we like that?

Dr. Scott:

We’re attracted to essentially the, the, the crisis of it. I mean, we truly are. It’s like we, if you find yourself. Asking that exact same question of like, how did they die as opposed to how are you? What can I do for you? And it’s like this part of us that needs to complete the mystery of it and gets attached to it.

And it’s like, it’s a stressor. When we don’t have answers, when we don’t have the full complete picture, we either fill it into ourselves or we, it’s almost like something in us takes over to fill in this story.

Nicole:

Because we need that for our own closure?

Dr. Scott:

It’s called suspense. It’s a whole genre of television that, that actually goes in and uses that neuroscience to keep you invested.

Nicole:

It’s almost like we’re watching people’s lives like a movie and we want to have the closure of that scene.

Dr. Scott:

We want to have the closure, and it gets us that big rush of experience. And it’s like, do you watch the news?

Nicole:

Yeah, of course.

Dr. Scott:

Okay. That’s an interesting choice to watch the news.

Nicole:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I watch it.

Dr. Scott:

That’s some drama.

Nicole:

Also let’s talk about what qualifies as news now. You know what I mean?

Dr. Scott:

So, when you’re watching the news and you’re like, da da da da da, suspense moment, and tune back in after the commercial. That suspense is a drama technology. It’s a way of invoking and pulling someone’s attention in through stressors. That is what drama does. And so it’s like, I’m telling you something, and it’s the same mechanism that’s, you know, the neuroscience of that, that says like, oh, I lost my dog. And you say to me, like,

Nicole:

Did you find him? <laughs> This is Nicole. It’s like, no, I’m really sorry.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We don’t go to the empathy first. We don’t meet the person. Oftentimes, something in us is going straight to the curiosity and the stressor and needing to know answers to relieve ourselves.

Nicole:

Are we always like that or did we become like that?

Dr. Scott:

It’s part of the negative bias mechanism. So, it’s like, you know, for every, we’re driven in our brains to focus on the ten to more negative stimulus as a form of preservation, yeah?

So it’s like if I say to you, uh, three good things and one bad thing, it’s most likely you’re going to focus in on the bad thing.

Nicole:

Yeah. Because the good things won’t cause me harm and they’ve already benefited me, so I need to focus on this potential threat to prepare for whatever.

Dr. Scott:
Exactly.

Nicole:
That makes sense.

Dr. Scott:

So it’s the negative bias that pulls us in and we need to know the answers. As some, you know, it’s not like, it is, it’s a very Intricate system and in terms of the physiology of it, which is like it’s activating your stress is activating in my body. And so if I don’t have the tools to a recognize that or deal with my own stress, I’m going to pull it back and put the focus back on you.

So if you say to me, I’m having a really tough day and I might go, Oh my gosh, what’s been going on in your day? And it’s like, I might be using you, instead of actually going, Oh, can we pause there? I’m noticing in my own body that shortens my breath and speeds up my heart. Okay. I’m tuning and grounding my own body. I’m regulating myself. And then I go back to you, Nicole. I’m like, what, what do you feel like you need right now? What would support you? Instead I go into the stress with you.

Nicole: 

Because I get to use your drama. It feels good. It feels good. It’s like a high.

Dr. Scott:

A why always brings us on the merry go round of drama.

Nicole:

Oh, so this is so good. I want to call out another story of an influencer because I think it really ties into an element of what you said here, which is the need to fill in the gap. That like, if we don’t get the closure to our stressor to this feeling, we just want to fill it in. And there’s something that’s been said about me on the internet and something that happened recently to one of my favorite creators, his name is Michael. He is America’s favorite librarian. And this is the guy who quotes, you know, our beloved Arthur Reed and says, you know, life isn’t hard when you have a library card. He is an advocate for reading. And he’s well loved, well liked, and unfortunately, well exposed and well attacked now.

And he’s recently decided to resign from his job as a librarian and really focus on his mental health, and he shared his challenges with that. And it’s, uh, so sad, because this guy is like, you know, a gem, for all we know. You know what I mean? I don’t, I don’t, you know, everybody’s got all the things, but he seems like a great, wonderful, good human.

Well, one of the things that I kept seeing as a recurring comment, and something he actually addressed himself, that I wanted to ask about because I’ve had people say it about me was, I always knew something was up with him. Or he seems off to me or I couldn’t put my finger on it but there’s something about that kid and I’ve had people say it, you know, about me where it’s like she couldn’t be all good or what’s up with her or I always knew there was something about their marriage or there was something about her, you know, and what’s interesting that I realize at this age, you know, and on this side of things is they’re totally right because there is always something about people, but this need to fill in the blank as to what that something is seems to be where harm is happening.

Can you tell me more about that?

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, I mean, look, the phenomenon is called cognitive shortcuts. It’s filling in the shortcuts. So we fill in the gaps. So we’re only aware of like, we’re in this room right now recording a podcast. We’re actually only able to consciously take in about 20 percent of this room.

Nicole:

Oh, wow.

Dr. Scott:

The rest we’re filling in with the past or projections of the future.

Nicole:

So basically, I came in, my brain took a mental picture of the room, and I have now forgotten most of what’s in the room because I can’t afford to look around, so I’m assuming my producer’s sitting over there, and I’m assuming your PR person’s sitting over there, and I’m assuming…

Dr. Scott:

A lot of assumptions.

Nicole:
So that I can just focus on this conversation.

Dr. Scott:

And you are having an emotional reaction to your assumptions, you’re still having a reaction as though it’s real.

Nicole:

My assumption of them sitting there is keeping me calm because I’m assuming they’re doing their job, which makes me calm. However, if I were to suddenly find out they weren’t, I’d be like, I knew he would cut corners or something like that. Right? Like, it’s kind of like that. That’s, that’s really weird because you know, the brain’s complex.

Dr. Scott:

The brain is complex.

Nicole:

I didn’t realize it had such a heavy lift.

Dr. Scott:

It is. We, we really only can take in very little of what’s here and that’s to preserve

Nicole:

Sure.

Dr. Scott:

And so it’s, it’s a brilliant mechanism we have to fill in the blanks. And so we do that and everything you’re walking, like, let’s say I’m walking in the forest and I hear a rustling in the, the leaves.

Nicole:
Yeah, it’s a squirrel. Keep it moving.

Dr. Scott:
Well, I see something big and I go, it’s a bear. I don’t wait to go. Oh, I see the claws. I see the tail. I see the ears.

Nicole:

It’s a safety thing.

Dr. Scott:
It’s a safety thing. I draw conclusions right away as a form of preservation.

Nicole:

Let’s pause on that. Do y’all hear that about yourselves? We are literally all like this. Me, you, everyone else, you know, to our benefit and to our dismay, you know, we draw conclusions as a form of preservation. So people may look at their favorite creators and they are absorbing something because the thing that, you know, I’ve become very aware of, you know, on this side of divorce is that, you know, sometimes the disconnect people may be experiencing, especially like even with my kids, you know, it may be sickness, like, oh, she’s losing weight, blah, blah, you know, I knew she was taking Ozempic. Homegirl may literally be going through chemo and you don’t know.

Dr. Scott:
You don’t even know.

Nicole:

And you’re sitting here saying things that are, you know, and we always say like, you never know what people are going through, but like, for real, for real, you may actually be filling in the gap.

Dr. Scott:

We are wired to fill in the gap and we don’t do it responsibly most of the time.

Nicole:

Wow. So a lot of times we’re wrong.

Dr. Scott:
Yeah. Yes. <laughs together> Yeah. I mean, like, we draw conclusions. You look at, like, someone like that on social media and you’re drawing a conclusion and you are reacting to your conclusion as opposed to the facts and truths.

So there’s a way in which we are no longer being in our curiosity and being with someone. We are fully in our, you know, the story we have created about them.

Nicole:

Sure. Based on our own data too.

Dr. Scott:

Based on our own data and we are having an emotional response and a reaction to the story that we created and then depositing it back onto them.

Nicole:

Ooh, that’s a lot of stuff happening with you that don’t have anything to do with them.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, that’s the drama like that. We all often see like in friend groups or on social media. It’s like we draw conclusions that aren’t there and then we can’t fight someone’s conclusions.

Nicole:

No, it’s the hardest thing, honestly, because, you know, sort of knowing that my divorce was something I chose to discuss publicly and all of that. It’s difficult because I have chosen to not discuss a lot of things out of preservation of my wasband’s right to exist and also his right to evolve, you know, so his experience with me doesn’t have to be all that he ever is and I doubt that it is, you know, I hope it isn’t.

And so knowing that I haven’t shared a lot of elements of that because I want him to have the right, the freedom and the ability to grow and change and or to have different experiences with different partners, you know, so because of that, it’s interesting because people desire to know, one of the first things people say when you say you got divorced is why they seem so happy?

And it’s like, based on what, you know, and like, and also the why part is weird, you know, so it’s just very interesting to hear that one, it allows me to extend more grace, which I think will help all of us, right, is when people are asking those questions again, recognize that a lot of it is from their biological need. And then the other side is to say, we don’t need to internalize it so much.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah. I mean, yeah, it, it’s. We are crossing the boundaries way too much into and bleeding into other people’s lives. It’s part of reality television, social media. It’s all these things and it’s affecting our cognitive ability to hold space to and be curious and not just assume that the conclusion we are making is the absolute truth.

Nicole:

Oh, that’s good.

Dr. Scott:

I mean, we know it in relationships, right? That’s where you see conclusions made like you did this and and like, oh my gosh. I was once dating someone Who I, um, I was sick and throwing up in the bathroom and they were like, you didn’t do the dishes. And like, you never do the dishes and you don’t care about our house.

Nicole:
And you don’t care if I’m tired and you want our relationship to fail and…

Dr. Scott:
Yeah and it’s rolling down the drama hill.

Nicole:

Yeah. And you’re like, woo!

Dr. Scott:

And it’s like, and you can’t fight the narrative. And when you talk about like why people are taking the mental health break, it’s because they’re drawing conclusions and reacting from their conclusions and depositing their reactions onto those people they drew the conclusions from that aren’t even real. And it’s exhausting. You can’t fight the imagination someone has that they feel is the absolute truth.

Nicole:

Listen. This is therapy right now. Like, I’m like, listen, pass the plate. So, okay. That being said, what is one thing that creators or anyone who is in any place, whether it’s the workplace kind of, because we’re all going through stuff or in relationships, what is one thing we can do to protect ourselves when the onslaught comes in whatever way?

Like, are we just supposed to, because you can’t just quit your job per se. You can’t just, you know, I mean, you can honestly have the autonomy to do that. But if that isn’t an option, what do you do to sort of either put those boundaries back or to at least, you know, heal and restore yourself?

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, I mean, like in interpersonal relationships, if it’s like you and I and you’re coming at me and it’s like clearly you’re reacting to the narrative as opposed to knowing and being curious and being with the facts, I might say, the first thing I might do is validate you. And that is f***ing hard if you’re being attacked.

Nicole:

Yes, it is.

Dr. Scott:

It’s like, oh my gosh, I’ll say to you, that sounds like it’s really exhausting that I came in five minutes late, and even though I was early, everyone.

Nicole:
I was the one that was five minutes late. I was like, don’t make it person. So okay. Okay. So tell me how you really feel now. He waited till the end of my podcast to tell me how you really feel. Go ahead Dr. Scott. <laughs>

Dr. Scott:

So that’s a beautiful example of like taking, like, I wasn’t even referring to you.

Nicole:

It felt like it! In conclusion!

Dr. Scott:

And so I might go, Oh, it feels really hard that in that moment you really thought I was talking about you. Is there anything I can offer you or do right now?

Nicole:
Tell me I’m pretty!

Dr. Scott:

You are f***ing pretty. You are the prettiest.

Nicole:

Thank you for telling people listening and with the inability to see, although we’re on YouTube now, so feel free to go back and watch all of our episodes.

Dr. Scott:

And leave a comment about how pretty Nicole is.

Nicole:

Subscribe, share.

Dr. Scott:

So I might, like, look, when someone is rolling down the drama hill like that, meaning they are building conclusions and reacting to their conclusions and reacting to the reactions, the best thing I can do is not engage.

Nicole:

So like Gray Rocket kind of.

Dr. Scott:

I’m going to say, like, I’m going to validate you like I am. I’m going to wait till you’re more regulated. And then I might say, can I offer what was happening for me?

Nicole:
Let them have their moment.

Dr. Scott:
Let them throw their f***ing tantrum.

Nicole:
That is good! That is good, because you know what’s funny? We know how to do it with kids because we’re aware that that child cannot communicate. So we’re just kind of like, okay, let them have a moment and I’ll talk to them when they’re in a better state. But we don’t realize that adults, even though they’re clearly saying words, they may still be kind of incoherently communicating the actual emotion.

Dr. Scott:

Their whole being is being driven by their unmet childhood needs right now.

Nicole:

Listen, we don’t have time. We don’t have time. We don’t have time. I’m not emotionally ready. Like, we don’t have time. We can’t, no, we, now, we’re not about to talk about the children. All of my children right now are running amok, okay? They’re not ready to be exposed. So… <laughs>

Dr. Scott:

She means her inner children.

Nicole:

Yes, my inner children. So yes, no, that makes a lot of sense.

Dr. Scott:

And that’s the thing, like when it’s dysregulated depositories of reactions, meaning like I’m just reacting, I’m throwing shit at you. I am reacting from my childhood state and not a state of presence. You cannot fight that.

Nicole:

There’s nothing there. I’m not in the room.

Dr. Scott:

There is no one to fight it with who’s in the room.

Nicole:

Okay. So I almost want to end it there. I want to, I’m not even kidding. I almost want to end it there cause I legit am over here. Like y’all, there’s something to be said for what we’re talking about here, whether it is at work or on social, wherever else, you’re fighting people who aren’t in the room.

Dr. Scott:

You’re fighting people who are not in the room.

Nicole:
Mentally, emotionally, or physically, because it’s the internet and the best way to protect yourself is to not engage, you know, and, or not engage on their level because they can’t even hear you.

Dr. Scott:

Nope, they cannot hear you. The best thing you can do is go take care of yourself, give space to the situation. If you want to stay in this space, you can say, I really hear the struggle of this or whatever it is. It does not like that is accountability. That is not necessarily you saying I am responsible for this.

Nicole:

That’s so good. Oh, Dr. Scott. I, I’ve, we’ve got to get another one in someday because this is, you have so much knowledge and I mean, honestly, I want you to get max value from those degrees and I’m here to help support you. So you’re welcome.

Dr. Scott:
I love you. <laughs>

Nicole:

You know, you’re welcome. No, this is great. And obviously you have, you have a podcast, you have all the things, your membership group, is it constantly enrolling?

Dr. Scott:
Yes!

Nicole:
Okay, great. Can you tell people where they can go and get the help they need and or pass on the link to someone who does?

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, yeah. So I created a whole platform called the Embody Lab, and it’s really opportunities to get, like, the wisdom of so many, usually body-based therapists, who are, like, all the jam in the field, like, these are the top teachers, and they have so much wisdom to impart, and I wanted to make a, like, these people are hard to get a hold of.

Nicole:
Yes!

Dr. Scott:

And I wanted to make a platform that’s accessible for your wellbeing as I possibly could. And so that’s the Embody Lab. There’s workshops, there’s trainings, you know. And I, for one, learn the most through trainings.

Nicole:

I need to do.

Dr. Scott:

Yeah, yeah. I need to, like, learn it through experiential, like, understanding. Not just being told on an Instagram post or something. So we open our trainings to anyone who wants to take the training. So like, I want to, I want to know about my own trauma. I actually go do a training in it. 

Nicole:
Incredible.

Dr. Scott:

And so like that’s that’s the platform.

Nicole:

I love that. Y’all check it out. And also, Addicted to Drama by Dr. Scott Lyons is on shelves everywhere. You can grab a copy when you go to grab Nothing is Missing, if you haven’t grabbed a copy or you’re looking for a friend.

Also, if you’re going to gift that book, passive aggressively, feel free to slide my book right on top of it to soften the blow. <laughs>

Dr. Scott:

It’s true I’ve had so much fun reading, uh the book reviews from people who got the book passive aggressively and they’re like I don’t understand why I got this.

Nicole:

It’s like, listen, read it, read it all the way. Open it up, sis. Okay. The answers are within.

And then after that, nothing is missing, except for your issues with drama. Thank you so much for being here, you’re my fave.

Dr. Scott:

You are my fave.

 
In this episode, Dr. Scott and I chat about:
  • The pandemic of drama that each of us participates in,
  • The state of comments on IG and creators leaving due to mental health,
  • Why we feel invested in our favorite creators online,
  • How we naturally fill in the gaps of what we know and don’t know about others, and
  • What we can ask ourselves to process comments we receive online

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Find Dr. Scott Lyons HERE and connect with him on Instagram!
  • Grab Dr. Scott’s book, Addicted to Drama, HERE!
  • Grab my New York Times Bestselling memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss our last chat where we talked about how to share your story without crossing your personal vulnerability line! Listen here or watch here!
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.