This is part of a conversation we’ve had in August of 2020, where we discussed the courage it takes to share your weaknesses. Many people think that I don’t care what other people think about me—but nothing could be further from the truth. For most of my life, I cared deeply about impressing others, and I got very good at hiding my own struggles and weaknesses—not only from others, but even from myself. I even judged people who shared their weaknesses openly, was repulsed by it. But healing doesn’t happen in hiding—healing happens in the light.
[00:00:00] SE: You can find human strength and courage and beauty in areas where I only saw weakness and failure and mistakes. And so now not on everything, but now I see some of these things in myself. Again, this is always starts with your soul, right? Once I started becoming a bit more gentle, it’s certain areas of my inner life. I project that out and then I see people and go, wow. I only thought of this as I can’t believe this guy can’t get his shit together, but now I’m also.
[00:00:31] Wow. I can’t believe the courage. This guy has to keep attacking this dragon. That’s obviously a bit too difficult for him to tackle right now. And maybe we’ll figure it out. Maybe you won’t, but there’s something admirable about not giving up about attempting and also about for me personally, not hiding.
[00:00:51] there is great power. Where I used to look at people that very publicly showed their [00:01:00] neediness, the insecurity, their doubt, their confusion, and look at this with great disgust and great judgment. Why? Because I had mastered the art of hiding all those weaknesses from the world and my.
[00:01:16] When I saw someone not hiding it, I was angry at them for not hiding it. Like, it’s fine to be weak, but how dare you show it? Are you insane? And now I’m like, wow, look at how courageous look at how much stronger they are in these areas of life than. Because it was not strong to hide something like there’s not a great level of courage required to hide something from the world.
[00:01:42] It’s much more healing and uncomfortable and courageous to show. This is my insecurity. This are my fears. Here are my failures. Here’s my ugly face. My dirty body. Here’s me defeated on my niece. And this is who I am right now. There’s a [00:02:00] group. Courage and power. You have to have to do that. A power that I, most of my life never had.
[00:02:06] Like I would want to hide these things. And then years later I would talk about it as some like beautiful story. From the safety of having overcome that, oh, now that I killed the dragon, I’m a sitting on him. I’m going to tell you kids how difficult this was and that I was really in doubt. And then I had a difficult time, but I would never had shown you any of that. At the time I was going through it when it was not certain that I would overcome and where I didn’t feel beautiful, powerful, eloquent, where didn’t have the whole story packaged up, edited up the narrative figured out I was too scared both to show that to the world, but also to myself, like I didn’t want to see this in myself, so I never did.
[00:02:51] And now when I see it with people, when I say anytime, I experienced somebody openly showing struggle. Smaller BIC is [00:03:00] more admiration than ever before for it.
[00:03:02] RA: those one thing they laughed about The episode where you shared a bad day, right. And we just recorded yourself while you were at it. you know, you can think about the quality of the production or the value of the content or anything, but just sharing that and so openly from a place where you absolutely don’t want to share it.
[00:03:21] To me, there was a.
[00:03:22] SE: It’s interesting. That’s an episode I’ve never listened to. I think maybe, maybe I listened to it when we published it, because I, I don’t think I’ve ever skipped an episode was definitely episode. I didn’t listen to again. And I saw it recently. We posted a tweet about it and I thought that was for it, not even a second for a microsecond, a ha do we have to post that episode?
[00:03:46] Sure. There’s nothing valuable in that. And then I went with my thoughts somewhere else. Now you make me think I need to listen to it again. Um, but Yeah. there’s still there’s discomfort that I [00:04:00] have sharing something like that. And part of the magic for me is also in the end that there’s no beautiful takeaways, powerful ending.
[00:04:13] Let’s just a raw. And it seems in sounds is unsatisfying is your bad day. You like it’s anyone’s bad day. It doesn’t, it doesn’t sound like Stella’s bad days are better than mine. Uh, there’s a, there’s a lesson in that. There’s a beauty in that, but also there’s a pain in it. For me. It’s just like my, my ego, my whatever is like, ah, I’ve perfected my life to. Make people think they’re the same as me and me think I’m the same as everybody else. And now I have to show it is not. So
[00:04:53] this actually goes to something else I wanted to talk to you about, which is the need to impress people. [00:05:00] I have never been more aware. This might sound surprising to anyone who knows me, but me, but for most of my life, I was not aware how much I worked on being impressive, impressing others, and always even believe that I don’t care that. Right.
[00:05:25] And most people think, I don’t care about other people’s opinion. I had somebody that. It only has known me for a year, but knows me pretty well by now. Tell me recently. Well, if I know one thing about you is that you don’t give a fuck about what other people think. And in that moment, I thought that is so wrong.
[00:05:43] This is, this is absolutely not true. How did you, how could anybody ever think this? And then I go, well, based on everything you say and do, this is how it could be. All people could think this, um, uh, there there’s this tremendous need inside of me. To be [00:06:00] impressive and to impress others. And I had a couple of moments recently where that popped up in all kinds of it’s ugly and beautiful variety.
[00:06:11] There was recently we went for dinner at my cousin. My cousin has a friend in the city in Thessaloniki that has a really nice restaurant and we went there to have dinner. And I know that the owner of the restaurant I’m friendly with him, I’ve known him for many years. When we went there this time around again to have dinner, I noticed that there’s a dynamic between me and him, that I really dislike. And this time around for the first time I got conscious of what that dynamic was. I have that with very few people, but when I have it, it stands out. So distinctly to me, it’s people that should be impressed by me, but choose not to. Right. It’s like, and it’s so funny. It’s noble. When I, [00:07:00] if my cousin, my cousin never says, oh my God, you’re so impressive.
[00:07:03] Oh my God. He is, my cousin from America is incredible. He’s not the kind of guy is a very kind of masculine security martial art trainer. Got, he never says a good word about me, but it all times I’m a hundred percent sure that he admires me. It looks. Right. It’s just like between the lines, but then when we go to that friend is a table full of people.
[00:07:24] Everybody on that table, I am sure of their admiration that they are like, Stella is one of the most impressive people ever, but not the owner of that restaurant. He rejects giving me that energy. Right. Or I at least perceive it that way. He’s always. Pretty disinterested in asking me any questions about life or any questions about my life.
[00:07:44] He’s pretty disinterested about going anywhere where I could tell a great story. He always is sort of like friendly, but kind of disinterested in me. Right. When other people would ask me questions, he will leave. He will come back, you know? [00:08:00] And then while I talk, I’ll ask somebody else a question. He’ll tell a story, then he’ll leave again.
[00:08:04] He’s exert interest in getting to know me better in talking to me. And because it’s so rare, not in everyday life, but in a setting of people, you know, at a table with coffee, with food, we are talking more or less. It’s very rare to get that vibe, but there’s very few people where I have that vibe with mirror where no matter how long I’ve known them.
[00:08:27] And I know that they know lots of people that constantly talk impressively about me that admire me. I know that they heard stories. But when I’m around, there’s this great disinterest to engage, to get to know, to really talk to me too. Like they, they want to keep a big distance and they’re the kind of people that in general have a more, I’m very confident in all the answers.
[00:08:50] I’m cool. I won’t let anyone in the hierarchy of things be above me, which is something I do too. You really have to [00:09:00] be. Somebody in my mind for me to bow to you in the hierarchy of things, when someone is, you know, way better at something than me, I am a great student and I can bow very deeply right in front of Chris.
[00:09:15] I did this Paul Graham, like there’s lots of examples of people where I was like, I’m not worthy, teach me. Right. But in everyday life, if somebody is just like, kind of somebody. I’m like, no, nobody’s above me. Right. I won’t admire anyone for, you know, oh, this guy’s really pretty, or is really successful in this area.
[00:09:37] That area he’s very popular. There. I’m all. I actually actively work on not being impressed, like not letting someone above me in the hierarchy. So kind of recognize another people. But this time I thought, wow, look how uncomfortable this, this makes me, nobody could ever send anything. I talk, I laugh. I chat.
[00:09:58] I leave. [00:10:00] I don’t talk about it. I don’t think about it. I still like the guy. The guy is really nice. But the entire time there’s something bugging me. It’s like I have a stone, a pebble in my shoe and I’m like, this is annoying me. And then I go look at, look at this. These are the humbling human moments where I go, you know, in a work is very humbling where I look at myself and I go look at what kind of a little, little asshole you are like cut how much this bothers you.
[00:10:29] The cow needy you are, you need everywhere. At murmuration or it is, you know, it is annoying. It is literally annoying me that this person’s unimpressed and I don’t need them to say, wow, you’re so great. I just need to feel that you feel what I feel. And you know what I know that we know, like it’s just that, because it’s also, it is also what I’ve gotten used to because I’ve lived a life that was created around this ne. [00:11:00] And I’ve succeeded in building that kind of becoming the kind of person that could be someone that people find impressive. I am used to people treating me in this way. And then when someone isn’t, especially when it’s somebody that I don’t understand why, like it’s not somebody that I think, yeah, of course this guy doesn’t give a fuck when it’s somebody that I’m like, why is this guy not giving a fuck?
[00:11:23] It’s bothering my little insecure, needy egotistical. Well, but I’m the prettiest. Why is he not saying that I’m pretty, you know, there’s something inside of me, there’s a bothered by this. And now that I know, or that I hear it and listen to it a little bit more, I find this very unimpressive about myself.
[00:11:45] I find this is not necessarily, you know, a very impressive in a treat. Uh, but it’s not just in those situations. It’s also. I had this situation with Sophia and embassy visiting me two [00:12:00] good friends. I noticed when they were arriving, my mom was arriving as well around at the time I spent a day with my mom at night, pasty arrived the next morning, Sophie arrived by the front.
[00:12:09] And I noticed that I was nervous in the morning of all these arrivals. And I thought, why am I nervous? And then I thought, I want to make sure that my mom has an amazing day. I want to make sure that my friends have an amazing time and I feel this inner pressure to impress, to deliver. And with my friends, I, one of the beautiful thing about the triangle of us spending some time together. That they’re such different energies. All three of us are completely different. Want different things are very different backgrounds. So the conversations and the interactions are very spicy. They’re very explosive with lots of challenging conversations, lots of mini fights, lots of one man, challenging.
[00:12:54] The other said nobody will safe me neither. And I’m usually the safe one. I’m the one that challenges everybody and gets [00:13:00] challenged the least, but not in this group. And I enjoy that. Right. I cherish that. I also, knew certain things that these people poised. Certain things that these people would want. And I was seeing that we’re not doing as much partying as person a wants, and we’re not doing as much outdoor nature-y things as person B wants.
[00:13:22] And I felt an urge to, to like, I need to change the days to make them feel like the couple of days they came to visit me were amazing. And I had to fight that urge. And then later had a conversation with one of them And he looked at me at some point and he said, it’s so obvious how much you care.
[00:13:42] It’s so obvious about how much you care about delivering. Always offering value, always giving, always creating. And sometimes yesterday is like, I asked you a question. I could tell you were exhausted, but you could not help to go, okay. I’m going to give him [00:14:00] everything I have because I have something important here since he asks.
[00:14:02] And then you he’s like you went on to talk for half an hour and you just, I could just tell what you share with me was beautiful, but I could tell you was. Very painful for you. Very exhausting. She’s like, I just want you to know. I love you. No matter what the fuck you do, like you don’t have to do anything for me.
[00:14:19] You don’t have to tell me stories. You don’t have to give me advice. You don’t have to give me an incredible time here. You could just chill. I love you either way. You’re amazing either way. And I was like, okay, you know, I didn’t really cry, but it was, it was, uh, you know, I’m making a little. But it was a beautiful moment and I gave him a hug and I cherished that feedback because still got a lot of work to do when it comes to accepting that chilling out, not having that urge to be perceived a certain way, to create a certain situation with people.
[00:14:51] Lots and lots more to learn here