S2E16 - I Searched for Introvert and Learned About Courage
As the title states, I was trying to search for introvert related content on Netflix and stumbled upon Brené Brown: The Call to Courage. She talks about courage and vulnerability, and I reflect on what that means to me and why I recommend everyone to watch it.
Some parts of the transcript may be edited for better readability, but the content remains the same. Mostly removed duplicate words, vocal filler words, and added/removed some words for clarification.
Hey, everyone! This is Meliza, and I'm The Talkative Introvert.
I have this spreadsheet of ideas for podcast topics. It's organized by introvert related topics, non-introverted related, INTJ topics and interviews. However, if I'm not in the mood to talk about those topics I've listened, then it's not really fun. And I don't want to record an episode just to record an episode. So I usually would go online, do different random searches. I'll go through Reddit, I'll watch YouTube videos. Sometimes I'll ask people for ideas. I actually recently had a listener, email me some ideas, which reminds me, I need to add this to my list. But this time around, I decided one night to just search for the word 'Introvert' on Netflix. It was kind of up late, and I couldn't go to sleep. So, I was like, I'll just watch something. And so I searched up the word introvert. I was like, you know, why not? Let's see what comes up. And I got titles like 'My shy boss', 'The creative brain', '100 Humans: Life's Questions. Answered', 'It's okay to not be okay'. But what really caught my eye was 'Brené Brown: The Call to Courage'. She's super popular, and pretty well known. So you might have already heard about her. And I'm probably late to the game and watching this because I think it came out in 2019. So I'm like a couple years late, but whatever. My old therapist actually told me to read her book, but I didn't feel like it. I like reading. But I don't like reading. I prefer to watch it or watch something, or play video games or something. Reading is not like my pastime. But fortunately, I can watch her Netflix. And I also found out that she has a podcast, too. So I might start listening to that on my walks. So, this episode is my reaction to that. I don't know what you want to call it. Video? Show? It's just her talk or speech or whatever you want to call it. I'm not really sure what you call. It's not like a comedy sketch or anything. It's just like the one show. I think she's touring. And she goes and does this speech. So they recorded and put it on Netflix. Anyway, so yeah. So this is my reaction to that, whatever that you want to call that, and why I think people should also watch it. First of all, she's hilarious and so fun to listen to. I definitely want to watch her TED Talk videos. I don't however, really appreciate her comment about white guys. Like, she didn't want a white guy to be on her cover, which is fine. You know, it's her cover. She can have whatever she wants in it. But the way she said it, like she was disgusted of the thought. Like the audacity of the artists to do such a thing. And okay, I get it. It's cool to hate white guys nowadays, but I don't like that. I personally do not like that. If you're going to be fighting for equality and talking about being inclusive, and treating everyone fairly, and not judging others by their appearance, then you need to treat everyone the same and not single out a specific group of people. They too didn't get to pick the body they were born in. New-born white male babies don't come into this world automatically racist and misogynistic. My husband is white. Granted, he's half. Okay. But if you look at him, the only thing Asian about him is his hair color and lack of facial hair. Everything else? White. And he's not some racist, misogynistic bigot, and neither are some of the other white guys that I truly care about and are close to me. So I just really hate that. Just like it's not fair for everyone else, it's not fair to them that people already placed them in this box without even getting to know them. And sorry for that little rant, but I just hate all this race stuff and people saying, we need to be more accepting of each other and we need to be more inclusive and be more loving and kind towards each other. But it's okay to not be that way towards white guys. Like, it's totally fine. Like, no. You're only truly a good human being in my eyes if you accept all people of all color, gender, orientation, etc. It's all or nothing. You can't just be like, it's racist let's just put towards a white person or a white guy. Enough of that. We're all connected. We're all one family. We all have to coexist together.
Anyways, back to Brené Brown. Sorry about that. That irked me at the beginning. I almost didn't watch her because of that because I was like really? Whatever. Anyways, back to the actual topic. My bad. She does start off talking about how vulnerability and courage go hand in hand. And that made me think, well, what does vulnerability really mean? And what does it mean to me? So according to dictionary.com, it means 'Willingness to show emotion or to allow one’s weakness to be seen or known; willingness to risk being hurt or attacked.' As a fellow INTJ when I read that, I was like, ooh. I do not like that. I do not like that at all. That is a big, fat no for me. Like no. Willingness to allow one weakness to be seen or known. My first thought was like, eww. Why? That sounds absolutely awful. That's why I almost didn't even do this podcast, and why I almost didn't even publish some of my episodes. I do feel pretty vulnerable when I do the INTJ episode, specifically with my sister-in-law. Even though those are some of my favorite episodes because it's nice to talk to someone who understands your personality. At the same time, other people are listening. And they may not get it, especially if family or friends listen. Because we do talk about parts of us that we don't necessarily share with other people, because other people probably won't get it. And they might think we're just odd or they might take what we say, the wrong way. But oh, here we are. And I'm still publishing those types of episodes. I love those episodes, but it is like we are a bit vulnerable when we do those episodes, because we are a little different from our family members. Anyways, but what does being a vulnerable means to me? So to me, being vulnerable, other than that definition, is sharing parts of yourself to someone that you usually hide. Everyone has different personas for different situations. So, newly introduced Meliza is not the same as Meliza you've known for several years. You know what I mean? The more comfortable I get with someone, the more they'll realize I'm not as bubbly and shy as I perceived to be at first. I'm definitely more cynical and b*tchier. A great example is when I worked in customer service. Customers used to love me, they would give me compliments and say that I was very bubbly and nice and welcoming, and have great energy, and I'm considerate, blah, blah, blah, because that's the front I have to put. So I can do a good job, get good tips and not get any complaints or better views during my annual evaluation. Not saying I'm not a nice person, but to be so hyped up and friendly, is very exhausting. And it's not who I typically am. I'm not super bubbly, and cheerful. My customer service voice is very high pitched. And I don't know why I do that. I think that's because higher pitched voices and cutesy, higher pitched voices are more friendly than deeper monotone voices that. I think I kind of have a customer service voice when I do this podcast too. But my normal voice is pretty monotone and a little deeper. I mean, I still have a high-pitched voice. But I think that's just because I'm Asian and small. We just naturally have higher pitched voices than the average person I feel like. But it's deeper than my customer service voice is what I'm trying to get at. And so being vulnerable to me is not putting up a front and not playing into any of the personas I've created for different social situations. And that to me is pretty scary. I feel like I'm pretty genuine for the most part in this podcast. But like I said, I have that little customer service voice, I've definitely created a podcast persona that's a little more conscious of what I say and I've definitely incorporated a lot of my customer service characteristics into it. But with my friends, like when I do those interviews, the beginning in the end is probably a little fake because I'm like, Hi! welcome back to my podcast bla bla. The intro. But for the most part in between like the actual conversations with my people I talk to or interview is for the most part genuine because they're people I know. And I kind of forget I'm in a podcast when I start getting into it. It's just like at the beginning and then towards the end, obviously, I have my little outro that I say really fast. But you notice I kind of speed through it but I kind of just want to get it over with and that's the end of the podcast. But in the middle, I'm pretty genuine. I like the thing. I don't know. I guess you have to ask my friends and family. So yeah.
So vulnerability to me is just not putting up that front. And just being genuinely you and having people accept that or witness the true you, I guess. The true self. So back to Brené Brown, she went through a horrific experience and to end her what she called a vulnerability hangover. So she did her first TED talk, and it ended up on YouTube. And it received a ton of views. Their problem with that, I mean, good on her she got a lot of views. And I'm sure a lot of the comments were positive. And it was like, the TED talk was probably really helpful for some people. But the problem of being public and going on YouTube, and getting all those views is that not only are there positive comments, but there's also negative ones. And so the problem that she faced which is the problem I am always worried about with doing a podcast. Luckily, I'm not super popular. And for the most part, I have good followers or like nice followers, I should say. So she made the mistake of looking at all the comments. And people said some absolutely awful things. A lot had to do with her appearance, which is done because it had nothing to do with her speech. But they just commented on her outward appearance and how she looked and all that stuff. And honestly, that's why I like podcasts cuz you can't see me. I might post a picture here and there myself on Instagram. But unless you know me, that's kind of all you get. And even the pictures I do post on Instagram, it's not really the full me and it's obviously angled a certain way to make me look a certain way. And I only show the good parts of me. But this is like a full on TED Talk video. So you just see all of her. Snd yeah. So people made comments about her appearance and what she looked like. And not necessarily all about what she said. There were some comments about what she said. But I think the ones that really hit her was the appearance one. So the other comments that were appearance related made me really think about why I don't also heavily promote my podcast. I don't even promote my personal IG page. Some family and friends still don't know that I do this. Most people I know only know about it, because it's suggested them on IG or Facebook. So if you find it, you find it. And more and more people are finding me. More of my friends and family members are finding me. I'm getting a lot of more followers from my personal bubble, not just other listeners. And it does make me nervous to do these podcasts even more. But I'm trying not to think about it because I still want to do this because I do like to talk. And I do like the whole podcast aspect. Like it's a fun hobby. So I'm not going to stop doing it. But it does make me nervous. And I don't know, I feel maybe I'm just in my head too much. But I don't know. And it's making me worried about what people think of me after they listen to my podcast. But anyways, that's not what we're talking about. So when she read those comments, the negative ones about her appearance and the negative ones about her speech overall, it just put her in this funk. You know, she called it the vulnerability hangover. And it put her in this downward spiral. And then what really brought her back was this Teddy Roosevelt quote which is a white guy, by the way.
But anyways. So, Teddy Roosevelt once said, 'It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. So in essence, the credit doesn't go to the trolls, the people who ridicule you or bully in the comment section. It's all about the person who did the work, who showed up, knowing they'll face criticism, whether good or bad. They are truly the courageous ones, not the ones who hide behind their screens. And I really liked that quote. I was like, damn. That's good. Because when she was talking about that, and the whole YouTube thing, and beyond TED talk, and being out there and being vulnerable, that was my biggest fear. That's why it took me so long to even do the podcast. And it wasn't until my cousin convinced me to do it. But I was just scared of everything else. I don't know why I thought I'm gonna get a bunch of comments and a bunch of people giving me feedback. Because I get maybe one or two comments every few months. I don't really get a whole lot of feedback. But if I ever get popular enough, where people are actually commenting on a regular basis, I think that's what's gonna scare me and might make me stop doing this. Right now it's good. We're good. All my followers and people who comment or message me are super nice, super friendly, super encouraging. But if at any point, I start to actually get popular, and more and more people listen to me and I start getting those negative comments, I don't know, I'll just think back in this Teddy Roosevelt quote then. But that's just all my fears is what she was talking about, like the comments and all the criticism and all that. All the trolls on the internet. But anyway, she goes on to say that vulnerability is having the courage to show up, when you can't control the outcome. And she says, we're so afraid to let ourselves be seen. And that's exactly how I feel with this podcast, and how I'm feeling with the fact that more and more family and friends are following me and finding me and finding the podcasts. I mean, they could just be following my Instagram page just to support me, and they might not actually listen to anything, which would be totally fine. Like, I'm totally cool with that. But I don't know. I don't know if they're listening or not. I could just speculate because I can see the location of where things are downloaded, but it's very general. Like, if they say Sacramento, California, that can literally be anyone.
But anyways. So she used an example of someone coming out to their Christian parents. And I thought of a similar situation to me. Granted, I'm straight. So when I say it came out to my mom, it's not what you're probably thinking. If you guys haven't heard previous episodes, it did leave our Church after I turned 18 and graduated from high school. The moment I was able to leave the Church, I took my chance and left. That makes it sound like I was in a cult. But I mean, no offense to people, but religions kind of cultish. Like Churches are a little cultish. Because when people say they no longer are practicing, they always say I left the church. That sounds very cultish. But anyways, so yeah, I left our church at 18. It kind of happened around like... I don't know if you guys in America, I don't know how old my listeners are. But if you remember Prop 8... Is it No on Prop 8? I can't remember. I think it's No on Prop 8. Because I think Prop 8 was going too ill to make gay marriage illegal. I honestly don't remember. It was so long ago. But basically, a lot of Church members were like, gay people shouldn't get married. And if you follow the Word of God, then you shouldn't practice gay marriage or something stupid like that. And I was like, no, no, no. That's not okay with me.
I already kind of was questioning the church already. It wasn't just Prop 8. But that was the capitalists have me finally deciding I gotta leave this church. It's not for me. I don't believe the same things they do. I don't have the same morals as they do and the same values. .And it's just not going to work out. So my mom knows that. My parents knew I left the church obviously because I stopped attending. Our Church is very strict, and they take the Bible very literally. So it's pretty obvious when someone leaves the church. I chopped off my hair and I pierced my ears and doing all the stuff. So one day my mom asked me what my religious beliefs are. And I was like, oh, how do I say this without my mom thinking that her daughter will be cast into the fire pits of hell? But I also don't want to lie to her either. So I ended up just explaining to her what I believe. I said that to me, I don't think organized religion, and going to church and being constrained by the various roles in the Bible are really what God wants to care about. I think that if there is a God out there, that every relationship he has with his children are personal. And they think judgment is done on a more individualistic level. It's hard for me to believe that someone who cuts their hair or wear the opposite gender's clothing, or curses is the same as someone who murders people. There's a lot of restrictions in the Bible, but I don't think it's fair to lump someone like me who doesn't take the teachings of the Bible super literally. Sorry, I can't talk today. But yeah, I don't think it's fair to lump someone like me to someone like Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. I don't think it's black and white like that. I think it's up to the individual to be kind, and to be accepting and to be loving of others. And you guys, I was so nervous to say that to her. My heart was beating. I have a Fitbit. My heart rate goes up. Like I just looked at it because I was curious. I was so nervous to say that to her because my mom was very strict growing up, very religious and is still religious to this day. But she was actually super accepting of the answer. She was like, that makes sense. And I was like, what? Are you serious? Where was this when I was in high school? I obviously didn't say that to her. But that's what's going on in my head. Like did I hear that correctly? Is this real? Is this a dream? I was so scared, but it was actually nice to know that she was accepting of the answer. And it felt really good to finally say that to her. Because since I left the Church.... I'm like 29 now. So that was like, 11 years ago when I left the church. And we've never spoken about it since then. And she just asked me. And I was honest. I wanted to be honest. Plus, I'm not really good at lying anyways. So I wasn't going to lie to her and be like, yeah, I kneel next to my bed every night and pray to God, which I obviously don't. But Brené Brown uses this phrase, "The story I'm telling myself". And basically, everyone creates a story in their head of what the outcome of a situation may turn out to be. And for me, I thought my mom would be disappointed in my answer. I thought she might lecture me in putting my faith in God. And I thought she would be devastated in a way. She was actually more devastated when she saw my tattoo than she was hearing that answer. But there's like none of that. No lecturing. Nothing. I totally just psyched myself out because of this fake scenario I made up in my head. And Brené in the show, or whatever you want to call it, Netflix special, will use an example with her husband. She made up a story in her head that led her to be upset and angry. But she ended up being wrong. And when she found out the truth, it actually made things better, not worse. She says you can't be loved if you can't be seen. Her being able to speak her truth to her husband and him back really changed everything in their marriage.
Like me being me, being an INTJ or an introvert, we're in our heads a lot and tend to overthink things and make up awful, god awful scenarios in my head on how events are going to turn out. So that was really enlightening to hear. Because it seems like such a basic concept because we all do it. But the fact that you acknowledge that you're creating the story in your head, that the story I'm telling myself is in acknowledging that that story can be completely false. Like the situation with my mom was completely false. She didn't lecture me. She didn't yell at me. She's didn't get mad at me in any way. She was very accepting of the answer that I gave her which is awesome. Because then after 11 years, we finally talked about it. Because it's always been kind of weird. I mean, not weird. I still act the same around my mom. No, that's not true. I don't act the same around my mom I would with my friends. But for the most part, I don't pretend to pray or be part of the Church and read the Bible and stuff. But I always think of something terrible in my head. Like me always think about worst case scenarios made me think of her saying, we're all terrified to feel joy. Yeah, so she talks about how everyone is terrified of feeling joy. People tend to think that one life is going to be too good or is being too good for to us for a long time. And something bad is going to happen soon. Which is so relatable. I think about that all the time. So not only am I thinking about worst case scenarios, 'the story I'm telling mysel'f situation. But I also think if it's good for too long, it's time. We're due for something. One stupid thing is going to happen soon. And I always think like, you know, Brandon and I are probably due for a squabble soon, right universe? No, not a squabble? It's got to be something else. Am I going to sprain my ankle in my driveway again? I prefer the first option, please. I really hate being in physical pain, but I feeling something's going to happen. And Brené goes on to say that those who leaned into joy, all shared the importance of being grateful. Because gratitude is also being vulnerable. Link says hi. I lost my train of thought now. What did I say? So being grateful. Gratitude is also vulnerability. So when you're grateful for something, someone or something can take that away. And she talks about these trauma victims that she interviews or talks to. And they all shared, if you are grateful for what you have you understand the magnitude of what I've lost. So it's kind of that whole, you-don't-know-what-you're-missing-until-it's-gone concept. That's why for me, I'm kind of grateful I didn't grow up rich. Because in a way, it's easier to be grateful and happy with your life when you didn't have a whole lot to begin with and didn't have everything handed to you. And you end up just appreciating all those little things in life, because it wasn't something that was attainable or feasible when you're younger.
And then she talks about how we all need to work on also choosing joy. So not only are we afraid to lean into joy, because it's vulnerable, because someone or something can just take it away. But we also need to learn to just choose joy, meaning choosing to do something that doesn't serve a particular purpose. That's really hard for me to do. I feel like everything I do serve as some type of purpose because what's the point of doing something when there's no end game? Even when I'm doing my crafts, it serves a purpose. I usually make things for people, rather than to make it just to make it. What I make serves a purpose of being a birthday gift, or a wedding gift or practicing it to refine my skills, so that when I gift it to someone, I'm proud of it or something. So when it comes to choosing joy, Brandon really helps me with that. He's an ISTP. And unlike INTJs, he's not a planner. He doesn't even have a schedule for work, which is crazy to me. But you know, it's in his head. Like he knows where he's supposed to go. And usually, he'll get a text the night before where the job is or something. I don't know. Something I can't remember exactly. But I just remember thinking like, what? You don't even?
Whatever. He doesn't even have a schedule. But he's very much in the moment, and focuses mostly on being present. Like on our days off in the morning, I'll list the things I want to do today or that day in my head. Then I would share it with him. Then randomly during the day or in the evening, he'll say, "Do you want to go out?" Like try out a new restaurant or go to a local bar, brewery. And in my head I'm like, that wasn't on our agenda today. It really throws me off. But I try to say yes most of the time. Because 99% of the time, I am glad that I do because it's fun. And even though it's not set in stone, like it's not in my plan to do that and it's not something we talked about previously or anything like that, that's me choosing joy. That's us leaning into joy. And it's usually ends up being really fun. Usually really glad that we did it because we end up spending quality time together and trying out new things and new food and new drinks. And we find new places that we like. And it just is a very enjoyable experience. And there's no goal, if you will. We're just having fun. And so he really helps me with that. Because if it wasn't for him, I think I'd plan out all my days. Because I do create a to do list. I mean, I always write it down. But on days where I'm off and he's working, I do create what I want to do for that day. And I know what time he usually comes home. So I have specific things I want to do on my alone time, and then specific things I want to do when he gets home. So it's very linear and very structured. But he helps me break out of that mold and choose joy. So in essence, Brené Brown asked people to choose courage over comfort. So her main key points, which is kind of what I was kind of going through earlier is that being vulnerable involves shame, scarcity, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, but it leads to love, belonging, and joy. So how I was talking about my mom, you know, there's a lot of fear and anxiety, shame, insurgency, all of that involved? But the fact that I was able to share my truth, if you will, with her, I do think it leads to love. I think we are more accepting of each other and understanding each other. Like I think she appreciates that I was honest with her and told her the truth. And I think that helps me feel belonged, I guess. Okay, so her three points, love, belonging and joy. Belonging, because then for once after 11 years, my mom finally got to see what I believe in and my religious beliefs, and she got to really see me, and not just speculate what I do or what I think and all that. And I think that's really great. Like, I'm really glad I did that one thing, you know? And the whole joy thing, also. It helps not to have just a structured day every single day. Like Brandon was saying, he wants us to live our best lives. And I tease him a little bit of when he says he's just living his best life. Because I think it's so funny because it's very out of character for him. Because it's such a, what's the word? Like, it's such a trendy thing to say. Living your best life, but it really is living our best life. And he was giving me this whole spiel like, "We really do need to live our best life, though. Like, stop teasing me about it." And it's true. He really helps me do that. And it really does bring about joy. And I understand the whole concept of being vulnerable, because I am scared that someday that might get taken away from me. But at the same time, the fear of that being taken away from me should really make you appreciate it and want to lean towards it, lean towards joy. Because it might go away. So I really did, like this little show that she did. I don't know what you call it. I guess it's a show, right? But I didn't touch on everything that she spoke about. I kind of just highlighted the areas that really stuck with me when I watched her. So highly recommend watching the whole thing on Netflix. Again, it's called 'Brené Brown: The Call to Courage'. Super interesting. She also has some videos on TED Talk. She's written a few books. And like I said earlier, she has a podcast. Definitely want to listen to her podcast.
I'm curious to hear what it's about. And if it's anything like this Netflix show, it'd be interesting to see what else she has to share. Because this one was so popular. This book became so popular and tour of hers was so popular, like sold out seats. There's so many people in the audience. It's crazy. And it does resonate I feel like, with everybody. Because everyone is scared to be vulnerable, and everyone's scared to be courageous, and pick courage over comfort like she said. And everyone's scared of all these things that she talks about. But at the end, it can lead to love, belonging and joy, which is what everyone wants, right? So anyways, in conclusion, even though I don't like being vulnerable and that definition I said earlier freaked me out and scared me. If I wasn't vulnerable, I wouldn't have this podcast, first of all. And I also wouldn't have a close intimate relationship that I do have with my friends and family. And because of that, I definitely would choose courage over comfort. All right, thanks for making it to the end. If you enjoy what you hear and want to stay up to date on the show, please follow me on Facebook and/or on Instagram. You can also check out my website at thetalkativeintrovertpodcast.com. All the information will be on there as well as in the show notes. If you want to help support the show, please review and rate the podcast and share it with your friends and family. Thanks so much and I'll talk to you guys in the next episode.