Hey guys, this is Kyle Lowry. And this is V Rivera. We're the host of baby mamas no drama. Every Tuesday we talk about parenting, co parenting lifestyle and sex poacher, current events and pretty much all the things you want in one podcast. So download and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. Listen to us every Tuesday and join us with all the tea
everybody, welcome to podcast. I appreciate y'all supporting us or people that keep us doing this. Try to choose them carefully. And do check them out to Dr dot that TV where we do a stream show at three o'clock Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Pacific time, a lot of exciting stuff going on there and you can interact through Twitter spaces and do follow me on Twitter and also Instagram Dr. Drew Pinsky. Occasionally do some Instagram lives or even tick tock lives. But let's get right to it. Today. Guest is Jeremy pollack. Jeremy's company is Pollack peacebuilding systems largest workplace conflict resolution consulting firm in North America. Also leadership training programs peaceful Leadership Institute. websites include coach Jeremy Pollack, Jeremy's je R E M y Paula Pol, l, AC K. And pollack. peacebuilding.com. He has trained executives and employees at a variety of levels, from Fortune 500 companies to major nonprofits Jeremy, welcome to the program.
Thanks for having me, Drew. Appreciate it. Hi,
I guess the sort of the, the, the standard question and there's, it's an empty platitude when I when I say it out loud, but I'm I'm actually interested in it. How did you get into this work?
Ah, yes, you know, I, I always try to track my journey back to being a martial artist. I originally I was a martial arts academy owner and instructor. And, you know, so it was super interested in you know, conflict resolution at some level, but really got interested in verbal de escalation, you know, later on wanted to get away from kind of physical defense, and see what that was all about. So I actually went back to school, I got really interested in evolutionary psychology, got a master's in evolutionary anthropology, and then started working with some folks doing some conflict and cooperation work. Got really interested in that. So I got a master's in conflict resolution. And then and then I went on to get my PhD in Psychology with a with a focus on social psychology. So just studying studying conflict, cooperation, the techniques that get us the peace and get us out of conflict. That's kind of where my, well,
you, you're gonna send me down a big rabbit hole here. I wish I can't resist because I love evolutionary psychology. But am I mistaken to say that evolutionary psychology has been under attack for the last decade or so? And the guys like, David, what's his last name wrote up at the University of Washington think he is? Okay, you, you answered
my first kind of going on the attack.
Yeah, you're our account psychology been under assault lately.
I mean, I haven't personally felt that ice, there's still a large and supportive field in the epicyte. World. So I personally, I think, probably it's always been under attack, since its inception. And it seems to me like it's been getting less so over the years, but I don't know maybe,
well, it's less. It's less so lately. It is. It about 10 years ago, I noticed. Because the cultural relativism and the cultural anthropologist were taking hold, they took the position that, oh, you can't do double blind placebo controlled trials on these evolutionary stories that are just so these are just so stories we tell ourselves, men and women are different. Uh huh. Sure, they are proven? Well, you know, it sort of it sort of went down that rabbit hole.
Yeah, well, in that realm and the socio political sort of context, certainly, I think there's, there's a tax on it. You know, when I went to grad school, there was a very clear schism between the the psych people and the cultural anthropologist, so the evolutionary anthropologist, I mean, it's just a completely different field. It one is, the way that we looked at it is like F psych, or anthropology is basically a scientific field, whereas cultural anthropology was more of like a social scientists. So chose the social studies field, historical fields, something like that. So there's always been a schism there. They've been on the attack. We've been on the attack. So I think it's Yeah, well,
I'm glad to see you're comfortable. David Buss was who I was thinking of,
Oh, David Buss when they were attacking David Buss, oh, terribly. He
told I talked to him a couple of times. He said you have no idea this he was being canceled all over the place, because Oh, yeah, yeah. And it was just terrible. It's sort of coming back fortunately.
Yeah, well, you're right. I mean, unfortunately, I think anytime you have Have a scientific discipline that starts to look at what are biological differences between, you know, different types of people different genders ages, except that kind of thing. Any anybody on the other side that's more like a social constructionist, you know, comes from sort of the, the critical theories are gonna say, Well, you know, that's you know, that's, that's all socially constructed subjective reality is what's important, not that there's no objective reality. And so like, there's going to be just a foundational schism between those two philosophies.
Well, your conflict resolver, how do we how do we, we deal with that? Because it's, it's, it's, you know, I glad that you're supported by the psychology and social psychology networks. But out in the world, when you say things that are based in science, as you say, the evolution psychology is a scientific endeavor, you just get reamed. So how do you? Is there a strategy to approach that from a conflict standpoint?
You know, conflict resolution is all is all about communication. And so when people are unwilling to communicate and actually listen to each other, it's very hard to resolve anything or manage conflict. So I would just say, if people are willing to listen to each other, communicate, that's probably the that's the only way forward in terms of building keys for resolving conflict. I don't think unfortunately, I don't think a lot of people are that interested in resolving conflict, I think a lot of people are in a, what I might call a conflict identity or victim identity. And so thinking that like, you know, if I give up this conflict, and I try to resolve it, well, then what then will I be fighting for, right? And so part of my meaning and purpose is to be a fighter, and I want to fight against tyranny, or whatever it is, you know, so it's hard to get them to, to give up on it. But if someone is interested in peace, the key is, how do I just listen to someone and hear them out and not try to prove they're wrong or defend my ideas are something just listen to each other and give us give each other that courtesy? That's the first step.
It's funny, Dave Mcrainey, just put out a book called How minds change I think it's called. And he is a, you know, looking at talking to social psychologists and, you know, trying to figure out, he's really looking at, he's interested in cognitive biases and things. And he'd same thing, it just, it's just, you've got to just sit and listen to each other and be respectful to each other and find a common ground and reflect back on somebody what their what your understanding their position is. And, you know, and not expecting even necessarily to change their mind very much. But just to sort of find a relationship with that person is essentially what he's fighting for. Is that it?
Absolutely, yeah. I mean, I mean, there's never a point to go into a conversation with someone who disagrees with you, with the mission of convincing them they're wrong or changing their mind, you have that mission going in, you're you're you're setting yourself up to lose. There's there's a wide, there's a there's a wide field called intergroup contact or intergroup contact theory. And there's a lot of different studies that show the kinds of things that help different groups resolve conflicts, and I would call these different groups. Now I know in America, we've got these different ideological groups, you can say the left and the right, are social constructionist versus more scientific method people. And, and really, it's, there's a few key concepts. Number one, how do we find common goals? How do we find common values, and a lot of times, if we start talking to each other, we actually realize that we have a lot of like common values, of course, we all want to keep our family safe course. Right? We don't want to like keep keep keep food on the table. And so we have the common values, we just have different ways of trying to get there. And it's worth understanding the methods that the other, the other folks are, are trying to get to what methods they're, they're bringing up. And so that's one and the other one is creating super ordinate identities and super ordinate groups. So focusing on shared identity, hey, we're, you know, you might be on the left and on the right, but we're both Americans, or we're both Californians or both, like, we both live in this community. And we're part of that and having that identity be salient. And then creating common goals around that identity, things that goals that we're interdependent with each other on and we have to work together to achieve them. Those are the kinds of things that start bringing people together from different groups.
Yeah, I get very overwhelmed flustered something when I when I think about the world we live in today and how to get people there because they seem to throw roadblocks and wherever they can to maintain the victim identity as you're saying, which is you know, we're all Americans. Well, America sucks, then America is a shitty country. We're all what common goals No, you're a Nazi, or you're a fascist, you're a communist or whatever. It's it's there's an underlying psychology operating and you're right, it is this victim identification that that gets in the way of conflict resolution, it seems to me. Yeah. And in the victim sort of identity. It's projecting all problems out into the world, really. rather than inside ourselves, which is sort of defines a personality disorder in a way. And so it sort of suggests that we've got a lot of personality disorders flying around, is there anything, and I'm imagining, so I'm just following my reasoning here. I'm going to take that on the macro level. Now on the micro level. I've noticed certainly that of course, a lot of the conflicts that arise in workplaces or even in small group dynamics are the people with character pathology. Or this or the system itself can develop a sort of a character pathological sort of pattern to it. The and of course, it's usually the Cluster B, that creates all the problem. And particularly, you know, borderline narcissist, that stuff. And the whole system can start to develop those characteristics. If enough people have that makeup are in the system. How do we deal with those things I, my son got in a system like that recently, and I was trying to advise him how to how to deal with it. He was bewildered and confused and baffled, and they were like, he was like spinning in the, you know, in the in the, the, in the washing machine cycle, the dry cycle? It was
terrible. What's what sort of system? Was it? Was it an organization? Yeah, it
was an organizational system. I don't I can't give too much away. Let's it was a professional system with very specific professional sort of responsibilities. But the management had personality disorder, and the whole system was operating with, you know, again, pretty internal projective identification, blaming, splitting all these processes that are part of borderline, which is, you know, again, I see to me, I always looked for splitting behaviors, and we can talk about what that is people understand we're talking about as the first sign that you're getting into trouble. Is that something that you guys believe to? Or am I going the wrong? You know,
I mean, I mean, one thing that we see somatically through you through the work places, because that's really where we focus is conflict resolution, we place it a lot, you know, so there are certainly character pathologies, and personality, maybe disorders, or very serious trauma that's never been dealt with, or, or processed in certain way. And that those can create people that just gets stuck in victimhood. But I would say that most if not all, of the conflicts that we deal with, have to do in some way with leadership, whether it's directly or indirectly related to, to the leadership, not really understanding how to create an environment where people can thrive, how to create an environment where they are, they are looking to get the basic psychological needs of their workforce met, they don't understand what those psychological needs are. They don't understand how to get them met, and maybe they don't care. And that's, that's a big problem. And so I think, an organization at some point, if they're noticing a lot of problems, conflicts, you know, turnover, etc, even loss of revenue, innovation, productivity, that kind of thing. They have to start, they have to start thinking what what is what is our culture look like? And what do we want our culture to be? A lot of times these leaders are burying their head in the sand and saying, Well, it's not my fault. Everybody else, right? Why don't they just want to avoid the whole thing. It's a very conflict, avoidant culture. And our job a lot of times is to get them to become a conflict resilient culture, which is how do conflict is not a bad thing, necessarily. It's a it's a catalyst for, for change, for growth, for innovation. But we have to know how to manage it correctly, we have to know how to talk to people in conflict, and a lot of leaders just do not have that sort of training. And so that's, that's a, that's a big part of what he still conflicts in organizations.
Let me let me focus in on this idea of creating an environment where people's psychological needs are supported. And one of the criticisms that I would imagine people would think about that kind of an environment is recently I've noticed people complaining either from within an organization or people are looking at an organization saying, Why do why does the total self have to be seen? What is your total being happy part of your work experience? In other words, I don't feel like I'm being respected for all these things I am and do, it's like, no, you should be respected for doing your job. In other words, how do we prevent that slippery slope so to speak, and which I hate, but how do you help prevent them from going to Slippery slope where, you know, we got to we've got to admire and appreciate and support every aspect of your psychological self.
That's, that's a good question. You and that's that's like a symptom of the socio political sphere bleeding into workplaces? Yeah. You know, the, the only again, it to me it comes down to leadership, when leadership set when leadership does nothing about that, or when they say, this is the kind of culture we want. That's going to happen. Leadership does have to get tough at some point and say, you know, The kind of culture we want is, is this we want a culture where people thrive where they do their job well, where they go home. They don't, it's not about making sure everybody feels recognized. Nobody feels ever offended. Nobody ever feels harmed and identity level, that kind of stuff. Like that sort of thing. When you start coddling to that, it just I mean, you can see it in these organizations that do it. It just completely turns them on their head. They look, they lose revenue, they there's all kinds of conflicts. I mean, we get called into conflict sometimes where people have, you know, they've started, you know, different types of initiatives dei initiatives,
with the EI diversity, equity
inclusion, yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah. So So and in not having any real clear, any real clear problem to start with no real clear plan as to how they're going about solving the problem. And so they end up in this place where everybody's walking on eggshells, everybody feels offended, insensitive, and no one can get any work done. And no one wants to talk to each other. And it's just a total mess. Aren't you describing
every, every every business in America right now? Just hear this? Everyone hear this all the time? Yeah.
Yeah. It's really frustrating. Isn't it takes leadership to be strong.
Would it be accurate to say that Netflix moved in the right direction by just saying, okay, yes, maybe this isn't the workplace for you to sustain your life. Maybe if you really don't like how this work this, this business operates, you should work somebody else with somebody else period, which he makes very, that's a it's a perfect starting place. It's like, yeah, if this isn't a right fit, we can't possibly make everybody happy at all times. work somewhere else, that's fine. And I think Tesla did the same thing kind of kind of Tesla just said, if you know, I don't know what the how they justified. What Gary, you're
smiling. I know the Tesla things just a little bit different. I mean, well,
but who knows? How would they operationalize that they might have said, you're not happy with the leadership? You're not happy the work environment here. Okay. Goodbye.
Yeah. It's just complicated, because they also laid off a bunch of people that was completely unrelated to that. And it's all happening at the same time, but they're intended to lay people off. Yes, but they laid they they apparently did it in a way that is not in concert with the law, because they laid off a certain number of people all at the same time without notice, and it goes against something, some act the acronym for which is the Warren Act. I'm deep in the weeds on this with reasonable doubt. This does not matter for this conversation. Sorry. Maybe Maybe Tesla and Elon Musk? HyperCard.
Maybe Jeremy knows something about that. Do you know what he's talking about?
I don't know much of that. I don't know much about that. I all I heard I heard that, you know, Elon kind of said something about, you know, people, if you don't want to work in the office 40 hours a week, then you know, it's not the right place for you something like that.
Yeah, pretend to work somewhere else, or work somewhere else? Yeah.
Yeah, no, I listen, I, when you say is this the right thing to do? I think everybody's right, is different. So in terms of right, like, you have to, I think each leadership and culture has to define what's right. If it, if it's if something's working for you, great, if something's not working for you, it's not working, we need to change it. And a lot of times, unfortunately, these folks think that what they're doing what they're starting to do is right, which is, hey, we need to really let people's full expression of their identities here, and we need to pay attention to those and that sort of thing. We need to have all these kinds of initiatives and etc, etc. And they, they go down that path because they feel like that's right. And maybe that feels right. And maybe there's a good intention there. But it ends up because they don't have a clear goal in mind, because they don't have a clear methodology in mind to to solve whatever problem they're trying to solve. It ends up really poorly and they get to this place where everybody's sensitive, hyper vigilant walking on eggshells, no one wants to talk to each other total loss of productivity and innovation.
I'm wondering, I'm guessing that you have to what your social evolutionary psychologist? How does the law figure into what you try to do? Or that Gary brought up some legal issues already? I'm wondering, do you have to constantly consult with attorneys every time you have an opinion? Is it something you just have to have a personal familiarity with? How does that and I imagine it's different state to state? How do you deal with those issues?
Well, so the good news for us we don't deal with any legal or financial disputes we come in purely at a relational levels so we help people try to get along better communicate better, that kind of thing. When we come in, it's either it's either they've already done an investigation with with like an EEO attorney, or some women law, and they found nothing there. And so now it's just a personality or communication thing. So it's not a legal thing anymore.
So that's what I'm guessing every time you open your mouth, somebody could accuse you of some Oh, yeah. discriminatory or god knows what. How do you walk that tightrope?
You know, it's totally it's totally possible. And it's happened a couple of times, but because we are trained in conflict, resolution and communication, we can we can walk it back. I mean, one of the big things about being a coach or a mediator or even a trainer is Bill Having a lot of rapport and trust with people, showing them that we really care about them that we, that we recognize their needs, etc, ahead of time we build that rapport with them. And so we, it's been very rare that actually, someone's called us to task about like, Hey, you haven't recognized my identity. It's happened a couple times. And we've had to walk it back. But But yeah, that's, that's difficult. And it's not our place as consultants to like, act, what leadership would do and go like, Well, too bad. That's the way it is, you know, leadership might have that, that, that way of going about it, but we just as consultants, we just don't, I wouldn't recommend for us.
Yeah, this back that intergroup conflict theory all the way back. How old is that? intergroup conflict theory? Is that like, from the 50s?
Yeah, well, Alport. So Alport came up with it. Was it in the 40s or 50s? And then Sharif, did this really interesting study that the Robbers Cave study, you know, years, I think it was in the 40s, or something I
may make you. I may make you go through the Robbers Cave, just to, you know, just to Yeah, well, so, because it's such a fascinating study.
Yeah. It's a seminal study and intergroup contact. I mean, basically, what they did was they had these kids come to a camp, they were like, I don't know how I can remember how old they were maybe 10 years old, something like that. They had these kids come to a camp, they randomly separated them into these two groups, and they had them go live in separate areas.
Their age matched, everything was matched and control. Yeah. Exact Match control. Yeah.
A lot of masculine. Yeah, exactly. It would never happen today. Oh,
my God. Oh, my God. Yeah. Yeah. But
they gave so they gave the so they give them different tasks, they said, you know, come up with a team name come up, like, I think it was a team slogan or something. And they, and they, they, and then they, they started having them compete in these different in these different competitions, just games and stuff. And very quickly, they found that just by separating them into these groups, they got extremely aggressive with each other. In fact, it got to the point where there were some there were some instances where I think one of them I can't remember exactly, but they there was some aggressive incident. Yeah, where they thought we almost we need to like stop the stop the whole experiment. But it was very clear that like they all it took was to separated them into groups, this was the beginning of minimal group paradigm, which is basically, we can put different T shirts on people. And it it, it makes groups aliens. So they separated them into groups. And they found there's all discretion. And then they tried to get them to come back and to resolve some things in different ways. And it didn't work. In the end, the thing that started working was they gave them a shared task. And one of them was like, I think there was like some tractor or some something in the road that they had to get out in order to move the car. And so they all had to work together in order to get this thing done. They couldn't do it alone. And when they started doing that, they started all of a sudden coming out of this group identity and started like being chummy with each other and, and letting go the aggression.
I think it was a common another common enemy too. I think that some other they're pointing at some source of something that they had to remove the tracker because there was something coming that they had to worry about it and and, and the other thing thing I found is very quickly, their their identifications were like a rattlesnake. And you know, they're very rare before they even knew what the other group was. They already were sort of an aggressive posture and attack. Yeah, exactly. So interesting. I have too bad they didn't do it with women. So we could see how differently females would have done this, or if they would have been a difference. You know what I mean? It was very fascinating.
I my guess, go ahead.
They've done this sort of thing. Now over and over and all kinds of different contexts. Just like, you know, you could you could take a group of people and randomly and just tell and ask them, which art piece do you like better, right, and one art piece and another piece. And just by doing that, okay, you're over here with this group that likes this art piece. And they can do all kinds of from there, it creates all this group salience. And there's prejudice and, and discrimination against the others and
hatred and hatred, which is crazy. And I'm sort of surprised. I'm I'm the way you're telling I'm very familiar with this, this material. And I can tell sort of the way you're telling it that this is something you have to educate people on a regular basis, which is sort of surprising to me that people aren't sort of already aware of this. Is that is that the case that people are just not aware of how we operate as human beings and in this context
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I think people are still unaware. I mean, I mean this is this is one of many cognitive biases. This is in group out group bias. Right? There's yeah, there's 50 different cognitive biases that have been identified study well, so So educating people on that is certainly an important aspect of some of the things we do you know, confirmation bias is very strong, extreme thinking or dichotomy. I think that kind of dichotomous thinking is very strong. anchoring bias. I mean, there's so many different biases that people need to become aware of. And one of the things we talked about too, when we do conflict resolution is like there's a thing called hostile attribution. There's all kinds of attribution biases when fundament fundamental attribution error is a very interesting one. But but a hostile attribution bias, which is basically as simply as, as when someone does something, or you perceive them to do something that that was hostile or aggressive or something from then on, you can create a bias that everything they do from that point on now is perceived as hostile. And that's happening all the time in conflict, right, as, as soon as I perceive one thing, hostile everything that person does doesn't matter how well intention doesn't matter if it's totally benign, it's perceived as hostile. And I can come out as a consultant and look at what the person didn't say, Man, that's completely benign. That's not hostile at all. But it doesn't matter because this person has a bias towards hostility, we have to try to try to figure out how to break that down first, become aware of that and try to break that down and actually start giving people the benefit of the doubt that you kind of have relationships with
what if, what if it was hostile how you deal with it? Because of just because the point is just because somebody's house? Yeah, one time doesn't mean they're hostile person.
Yeah, yeah. Well, and if it was hostile, that that's a macro. So the way that these biases work a lot of times is because there wasn't communication around having a conversation or giving this person some feedback on what it was they did and how bothered us or if it was, it went down the wrong, it was done the wrong way. And the other person got defensive, and it wasn't a good vacation. So if someone's doing something that's bothering you, or that you don't like their behavior, they said something, whatever. The most important thing is to communicate that to them and communicate that in a way where you're not demonizing them or not saying like, Hey, you're being a bad person, you're rude, you're wrong, you're evil, because you did that. The way to go about it is to talk about the behavior separate from the character of the person to say, hey, you know, when you interrupt me at the meetings, I realize you may not know you're doing it, but when you do that, it really starts to make me feel like you don't care about what I say. And maybe that's true, maybe maybe it's not true. I'm just interpreting that way. So what I would I would love to know like, are you actually do you care about my opinion? And if so, do you think we can work? On a different type of communication style or behavior, so you're talking about the behavior separately, from just demonizing the character of the person, that's the way to stop the behavior, if it's actually aggressive or hostile, right. Now, some people might not care, they might be aggressive people. And that's, then that's a situation in which you have to determine whether or not you want to stay in that relationship.
Right. And I brought up the intergroup conflict theory, not just to review some of the history there, but just also to point out that it has been around for 75 years. And there was a book published in the 50s, which was a social psychology and it was a textbook, and it was I think, was just a book to sort of addressing how to deal with racism. And, and essentially, the book was called contact. And essentially, the recommendation was relationships, contact that that's, that solves it goes away. And we've known that for 75 years, why can't we do better? And given that this is something we know is it be is it because of these cognitive glitches in our system that we just another generation comes along, it just does the same thing. And we it's hard to wash out?
You know, I think it's in large part because the media, I think the media thrives on fear and threat, because that's how they get eyeballs, which creates money for them. And so the more fear and threat they can create, the better for them. And so I think people watching the media, listen to news, social media, etc, I think that I think it all adds to these biases in a way that's just almost impossible to fight against. If that's if you're watching media, you know, they've done some really interesting studies, you know, I think it was lead a cause of Metis. And John Tooby out of Santa Santa Barbara, who really sort of seminal research is kind of almost like the spear headers of evolutionary psychology, really. And they did some interesting research on looking at intergroup, intergroup, prejudice, etc, when it comes to different types of social demographics. And one thing they they they found was that they basically, they had to remember the study has been a year since I read it, but it was something along the lines of they had people look at or play on teams with people of different races, and is when they, when they and they did the same thing with different genders. And they did the same thing with ages. I think I might be misquoting here, I think it's, but what happened was, then they started putting people in different t shirt colors and seeing if they if they categorized and remember people more based on their shirt color, or their race or their gender or something like that. And what they found was there was an evolutionary psychological explanation for this, what they found was, as soon as you put people into teams of just minimal groups, like like on a t shirt colors, the race element disappears. They no longer track race, they're tracking t shirt color, it's different with gender, they continue to track gender is more important than, than the t shirt color. Wow. So there's something biologically important about it. And same thing with age. And the explanation was, there's something very important evolutionary speaking, like when we were in small, you know, 100, that 100,000 years ago, or 100,000 years, when we were in small groups, there was there was a reason we needed to track who is female and male, because it mattered in the context of our of our, of the of the culture. And it was written because there was biological differences. And the same thing with
how they how dare he was, that was an attack on it. Right? How
dare attack don't kill the messenger.
We're just talking about what the science shows. Yeah, just talking to me that age gets tracked to that it's flabbergasted, flabbergasted, flabbergasted
well, because because because there's Yeah, exactly. Well, there's there's there's real, there's real consequences to understanding how old or young someone is the same thing, how what their gender is, in the context of the small gap, hunter gatherer bands, which is where we're our psychology has evolved, but race had nothing to do that. We were basically they were all the same race, and race. I guess we didn't evolve strong inclinations to track race. And the thing that that does for me, in terms of giving me some hope is there is a possibility that we that if we start to change our rhetoric, and we stopped to listen to the media, there's a possibility that we might be able to start. I don't want to call it colorblind, because I think that's still creating some sort of essentialism around race, but there's some signs, there's some scientific evidence that shows that we might be able to kind of forget about race and not make that an important thing, focus of intention, in terms of in terms of like, what, what's meaningful about a person, you know, so it's meaningful about a person to look at.
I've certainly talked to people who've visited from other countries that are more that way or shocked at the sailings that we make of it. Yeah. And again, to be fair, we have a unique history with it. And I think that's the salience is really not so much about the race, but the historical context. And so I think we really have to make that specific, I think, you know, in terms of our record with ourselves, and again, back to you saying, you know, what are our goals? And we got to figure out what are called What are we doing here? What are the goals? And I think if you don't really understand the problem, it's hard to come up with goals in terms of solving it.
So by the way, yeah, I have a, I have a, I had a conversation recently with someone who's, I don't know if you ever heard her name is Dr. Sheena Mason. She's the sort of developer of a theory called theory of restlessness. And, and her whole, she's, she's, she's written a book by McGraw Hill, it's an academic book, and now she's writing a label. But the whole philosophy is essentially that, you know, I don't wanna get into too much of it. But basically, race is not real. That's her philosophy. Um, she's African American woman. But her race is not real. It's not even socially constructed. The illusion of it is socially constructed. But it's actually not a real thing. And the only way forward to get away from racism is to actually stop focusing on race as a real thing. I mean, that, I hope I'm doing
justice. I have heard, I've heard that my brother in law was a anthropologist. And I remember him talking about that as a theoretical possibility for two years ago. I don't I don't I think we have to. I don't believe it. I well, I don't I don't think that it's wrongheaded? Well, I don't think that it's inaccurate. I think it might be a little wrongheaded for this country, given what it's I think we have to get very clear about what we're reckoning with. Yeah, and, and I think one of the things this is totally off, you know, our topic, but but the thing I've noticed that African Americans have been complaining about that, that I really think is a core issue. And I may be wrong. And I'm you know, old white guy is not in position to really make these kinds of sweeping statements, but I will just say, so, so many scales have fallen from my eyes, in terms of taking my perspective out of my understanding of other people's experiences in this country. And looking more carefully at what are the like I, I've dearest patient as a woman that was my one of my best friends from high school, mom, and she's well under 80s, I've taken care of for years and years and years. And she is somebody I hope I didn't speak out of turn by telling the story. But she is somebody who really a legendary person in the community where I live, just somebody has been just active force for social good. And she's the most I just, I can't even say enough good about this person. She happens to be black. And she had me she was talking about Jim Crow in Southern California went, what? What are you talking about? She gave me a book. I'm like, Oh, my God, again, scales just fall from my I had to live with it. Jackie Robinson had to live with it. I was like, you couldn't go in a pool? Like what? In this part of the country? Yes, lo and behold, and I feel like that work. That the that. Unfortunately, it's not the business of the African Americans to make us see things, but it's the work that we have an obligation to come to come up with. And we need to get better. Those of us from European descent at making it making a conscious effort to really educate ourselves on what that history has been for most African families of African descent. So we really appreciate that's all they're asking us to do is just appreciate what this has been. And once we kind of do that, then you can go to the sort of more raceless kinds of things, whatever that appreciation entails videos IP, that was complete sidebar. I, I'm worried that I'm gonna go back now to conflict resolution intergroup conflict theory and what to do if somebody's behaving hostile Lee, I'm really worried about the ubiquity of character pathology. I worked in a psychiatric hospital when I, where I saw it, come on, I was working there in the early 80s. I worked there for 30 years, and I watched the access to diagnoses became essentially exclusively clustered around sociopath, narcissist, borderline. And when I when I started working there, it was a full array of A, B, and C personalities, you know, just it's be humans and character stuff. No, not all of a sudden, and you had mentioned something about unresolved trauma in the victim identity individuals. And I think we all know that trauma is the source of some of this character pathology. I guess I'm sort of moving towards a question of, you know, you said, if somebody is behaving hostile or they're hostile person decide whether you want to be in that relationship or not. I don't think we have an option in this world today because it's so ubiquitous. So what do we do in a world where character pathology is so commonplace, and is really sort of easily It's easy to look at the landscape of the world and go on this, this feels like Cluster B, it's all over the place when we got to what do we do with this? Which is really now when I'm laying on your plate, what do we do with this?
I mean, listen, I can I can talk, I guess I can speak from my own self is. And this is kind of where I guide people when I coach them. i Yeah, there every relationship has a has a cost benefit analysis, right? Like, what what is the cost of managing this relationship in terms of stress? I'm
not gonna let you go there. I'm not gonna let you go there because it's easy to get just to pull away, right? But let's say let's say you have a workplace environment, you start looking around going, Oh, shit, 30% of our population is character pathology. I can't fire 3% I don't want to fire them. I want to get I don't dislike these people. You know, by the way, I have a I have a soft spot for people with borderline disorders. They suffer more than anybody out. Well, yeah, they make everyone around them all the time. Yeah. And so let's say 30 40% of my population, I can do some whiff of character stuff here. What do I do when that's all over the place? Not get away from them. What do I do with them?
Yeah, well, here's what I hear. So I have I have a situation right now, for instance, where I'm I'm, there's, I'm coaching a team of C level executives, and one of them happens to be probably borderline. Certainly she's say, certainly, this person has brought in some trauma from from our past,
or the borderline trait, projecting borderline traits. Projection identification. Okay, got it. Yeah. And transferring
onto people. Yeah. So. So one thing that I'm coaching them to do is, you know, so number one is like, what are the needs of this, this person, you know, I don't think that this person is going to change, and it's not their job to change them. So the question is, number one, how do you take care of yourself? In this situation? How do you how do you monitor your own stress levels, etc, and really take care of yourself. And number two, when you're interacting with this person thinking about, I tend to think about, like, if I'm in contact with someone who constantly seems hostile, or with a personality disorder, I'm trying to focus on their pain rather than my own. And so if I can look at them and say, This person is in pain, like in other words, like this person basically has a broken leg that she's pretending not to have? And how if I want to have a good interaction with them, how do I just focus on it now I'm laughing, that gets very tiring.
It's tiring, tiring, it took me 10 years of working in those environments and doing my own psychotherapy, to get good at that. It's something it's really it's very, you're good at it. Cuz you're a psychologist, I'm a physician. It's like, yeah, I worked at it. And I now very good at it. And it still requires a lot of energy and can still be uncomfortable. And I tell you what, what I, what I always worry about is the distortions. So one of the rules for me is I never I would never be with that person alone, ever, ever, ever. Because that's they experienced things that people looking at the amber her I think Amber Heard Johnny Depp did as a great service. Because, you know, Amber Heard experienced, her memory was laid down, she's not lying. That's the memory she has of things. That's yeah, borderlines work, that you walk in a room, you can go, Hey, Amber, look at that nice brown light. And she'll you'll walk out in Chicago, he came in and told me I'm a piece of shit. Like, what, what, what, what, where that come from? Well, if there's no one there to witness it, that's what the memory is. And that's how it goes down. Because the victim piece is so profound, that everything is is experienced at all times. Anyway. So my thing would be, I would never interact with a personal loan ever, ever, ever, at least not without the door open.
That's a good that's a that's a that's a good strategy to I agree, especially when you're in a workplace environment of some legal potential issues. So yeah, I agree. Yeah. Yeah. And that's, I mean, unfortunately, we're not going to change them. It's good to have the most pleasant.
So what So okay, so we have five employees, we have to coach up to be like us who know how to walk in a room and manage the borderline. What do you tell? Like, just don't don't I sort of say, Don't don't expect to get don't expect to get your needs met. Your needs are never going to be seen separately from that person's right. And same with the narcissist the same with an absolutely, yeah, you're gonna have to align yourself with that person's needs. And the best and the worst outcome is you're going to be idealized, but you're going to be serving that person. And if you have one slip, you're gonna be de ideal. You're gonna
That's exactly right. Yeah, that's exactly right. And, and the person I mean, people dealing with Borderline IQ, they have to learn how to take care of themselves. Yeah. And stop in a stop perceiving what the other person is saying or doing as anything. That's real. That's going yeah, that's that's true about themselves. You know, it's like, that's not true. And I know that that and I have to stay centered in myself. Yeah, yeah, that's right. It's not easy. It's not easy. And again, it's really tiresome. Oh, yeah. Really tired. Yeah.
Well, and and some people are good at it. Right like like my dad was sort of narcissistic so I'm really good with narcissistic males particularly. The problem is I completely subsume all my knees to his in and that can be very effective in a workplace environment with something I like doing and it's very productive and it's work I like but when there's when there's a discontinuity of interest all hell breaks loose because they are wounded they're wounded and abandoned that it's a big mess I
can't disagree with them
you can't you can't you can't be separate from your there whenever somebody says you are the best Oh, you're my man. You're my gal. You're my whatever. Whatever boy watch out that we're all just okay. We don't don't strive to be the best or the worst just be good and good enough like good enough parent. Let me ask this is the not for profit world different than the profit world that you would enter in? Are you encountering different stuff
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So not not dramatically, but I will say that nonprofits tend to be a lot more on the hypersensitive, hypervigilant, I also find a lot of character pathology. They're the types of people that want to work in that environment a lot of times are very caring, but then they're also I probably have seen more sort of borderline clusters in that realm then then
in then in this sort of normal business, so acting out their own victimhood by rescuing Yeah,
that's total anecdotal. I don't know. You know,
I imagined you were gonna say that, that made sense to me. Does that result in a lot more conflict in the workplace or is it you know, kind of special needs?
It results in a lot. I think it results in a lot a lot more conflict. And from my experience, it results in a lot wider conflict. So it's not Yeah, so in a workplace. A lot of times there'll be, you know, one individual we come And then it's like one individuals cause a lot of problems or two individuals. And when we go into sometimes in nonprofits, it's like, it's not clear who's there's no one individualized times. It's like, everyone's not getting along. Like this or like, there's factions like, yeah, one teens,
splitting, splitting, splitting matters. Yeah. Yeah. So I look at that as a borderline system. Right? Is that a good way to look at it?
Yeah, I mean, I think it varies from from system to system, every organization is different. I've seen some organizations that are great, some nonprofits that like we run a culture test and assessment, and they score super high, and it's all anonymous. It's like, so everybody's great. And then we run some that are super low. So I think maybe, I don't know, maybe the extremes are more so in those environments, like, Oh, that'd be great. Or it's
low. That's interesting. That's again, that's anecdotal. So but that, but that also means you can strive for really great, you know, like there should be, because why couldn't you know, why couldn't the ones that are struggling become really great. That's, this is all so interesting to me. D, let me just drop back up to the 30,000 foot level again, and just talk about your field a little bit. Do you feel that there's growing awareness when you come to environments that people sort of get the concepts are already familiar with these things? Or are you out in the woods again, and it's these things are so familiar to me, it's just hard for me to believe that people don't know this. But go ahead.
Yeah, it's, it's weird. It's slowly gaining traction. I mean, we do have to do a lot of education. A lot of people that come to us, they say, Hey, I was just looking online for some solutions. And I found you and I didn't even know this kind of thing existed, you know, it's basically, you know, kind of couples counseling for workplaces or organizational counseling foreplay. So yeah, a lot of people there needs to be education, they don't really understand what it is. And sometimes we'll go in and they're like, we've already we've had three consultants come in here and try to work with us, and nothing's better. And here's another consultant, you know, and it's like, yeah, but we're not. We don't call ourselves consultants, all our quote, unquote, consultants, we call peace builders. I mean, that's, that is our entire focus is how to help people get out of conflict and into peace in an organization say,
who need your services? Who does? Who should go?
Yeah, I mean, we work in so many different industries, and so many different we work from the small like, to person to three person in a medical office up to like, a large, you know, multi 1000 person, global, global global business, and, you know, so it's, it's, they all need it, they need kind of different things, the smaller ones usually need like the, what we call our peacemaking program, which is like the couples counseling organization. And the larger ones, a lot of times need us to facilitate large conversations around strategy, because they're getting a lot into a lot of conflict in this conversation and that sort of thing. So we're starting to do what's called restorative work. There's been a restorative justice practice a long time, but people don't really know about. And now we're doing we called restorative practices where people get to listen to each other in a non judgmental way. And it's facilitated and that sort of thing. And, man, I'll tell you, there is a big shift wince when people, especially people that don't have to refer pathologies, they just feel like, no one's listened to me, no one's included me. I'm very frustrated cetera, and you get them in a room and they just feel heard, they get to talk for two or three minutes. And, and they get the sense that people are actually listening to them. It's super cathartic. And it actually changes that dynamic a lot. And it gives us a good place to start from. So just listening is a lot of central importance.
And are you out speaking on this topic? Very much.
Yeah, I mean, as much as I can, you know, I'm running a run a company. So I'm trying to do as much as I can, in terms of speaking and presenting a lot, a lot of trainings. And I don't
know, yeah, I hope you are out there, or even creating, you know, online, sort of decks and things that people can scroll through. Because this, this material is so important. I just feel like this is the this is the weapon we have against so much of the nonsense that's going out in the canceling world and the social media world and beat just generally, yeah, it's just uh, if you understand this stuff, at least, at least it makes you pause, and not feel so righteous and all these things that people are doing.
I agree, we have, we have like free so on our website called Peace building.com. We offer a free media coworker mediation guide, a lot of people download that they come to our website, we also we have another site called peaceful Leaders Academy, which is our school for training leaders in the style of peaceful leadership, which is a which is a theory of leadership that we've developed. And on there, they can download a free ebook that's all about, you know, five, very clear tools to improve workplace culture they can do immediately and so it implements a lot of this stuff into those in those free resources will keep
representing evolutionary psychology I felt since it started getting attacked, that it would be back in the front and center because reality has a way of asserting itself and it is just simply the facts. Yes, there are some Just So Stories in there that we have to sort of You know, work to prove. But generally speaking, in biology generally, and we are a biological system, if you want to understand what things are or why things aren't just look at the level, you know, just ask why did it evolve? What's it doing? What's there? What's it serving for evolutionary perspective? And that is always the answer. Not sometimes always. Yeah,
I was. I was in so I've been in an AP psych lab and in in UCLA I was in I was in I was in a lab, a socialist, social psych Lab at Stanford and, and what I find when when I'm working with people that are from a scientific background, scientific method, they're very open to changing their hypotheses and very open to change their minds, if they're, if they put something out there. That's the big thing. And so the unfortunately, when I look at the the sort of cultural anthropologists are most social constructionist, they don't have any real clear ways of empirically measuring things. And so once they believe something, it's hard to get them to change their minds like this is the way it is and that and you can't tell me anything different. And that's the thing I like about the scientific method is, it's all about changing our minds when the data supports changing our minds or not changing our minds. If the data supports, it's
all about disproving, it's all about null hypothesis. It's all about getting started thinking all areas game, making them better knocking them down. And believe me, and when you're the object of when you present a paper, trust me, your peers will have at it. That's the whole process. Yeah. Is that absolutely. And the fact that we weren't doing that during COVID is just shocking. But anyway, that's another story for another day. Listen, thank you for being really appreciate. It's fascinating stuff for me. I really enjoyed this material, as you can tell, and congratulations on the work I think it's essential what you're doing again, peaceful leadership.org Peaceful leadership. academy.com pollack. peacebuilding.com. Coach, Jeremy pollack.com. Check it all out. And yeah, familiarize yourself more with social psychology, if you're not already familiar with and cognitive biases, and how our brains work. Thank you so much.
Thanks, Dr. Drew. Appreciate
it. Got it. We'll see you next time.
For calling times and topics follow the show on Twitter at Dr. Drew podcast. That's Dr. Dre W podcast Music Group. Today's episode can be found on the swing and sounds of the Dr. Drew podcast, now available on iTunes. And while you're there, don't forget to rate the show. The Dr. Drew podcast is a Corolla digital production and is produced by Chris lox, Amana and Gary Smith. For more information go to Dr. drew.com. All conversations and information exchange during the participation in the Dr. Drew podcast is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. Do not confuse this with treatment or medical advice or direction. Nothing on these podcasts supplement or supersede the relationship and direction of your medical caretakers. Although Dr. Drew is a licensed physician with specialty board certifications by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine, he is not functioning as a physician in this environment. The same applies to any professionals who may appear on the podcast or Dr. drew.com.
You're about to hear a preview of the Jordan Harbinger show with a go to person to help negotiate a hostage situation in Syria when no other intelligence agency would help.
When you have a hostage negotiation, especially in the war zone. The first thing you have to do is tell the parents to stop doing something that they want to do and that every schmuck under the sun is telling him to do, which is to seek public support, right to get public statements to do Facebook campaigns. What just happens with that is your price went up before you even started in negotiation, you do not want to drive up the perceived value of the hostage. Sometimes people are taken hostage just for the shock value of executing them. Where you're going to do with a campaign that you're doing right now is going to get your child or your spouse killed How is pissing off the people who hold that person's life in their hands helping you? By the time I get involved, it's usually too late.
To learn all about the nuances when negotiating with criminals and human traffickers. check out episode 617 of the Jordan Harbinger show all this month's stream the funniest films for free on Pluto TV watch comedy classics like Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Mean Girls or drop in for a Tyler Perry marathon with A Madea family funeral Emma D is witness protection Pluto TV also had hundreds of channels and 1000s of movies and TV shows like Get Shorty be cool Key and Peele comedy and color and more and no contracts, no subscriptions no fees, no joke. So download the Pluto TV app on your favorite streaming device and start laughing today. Pluto TV dropped in watch free