Connect and Conquer
Connect and Conquer
fbf - Silly Sentiments & Serious Support: The Friendship Spectrum

[00:00:00] Hannah Watson: Why would you want to be with a person who doesn’t take your suggestions under consideration? You know, who is so stuck in their ways that they’re not willing to look outside of the box. Because I’m willing to look outside of the box. I’m willing to be like, Oh, is there a better way of doing this? And I’ll explore that option.

[00:00:20] Cameron Watson: Thanks so much for joining this morning. I guess we’re in the afternoon. It’s been one of those days. Um, our topic today is on friendships. And that can expand into relationships, uh, of, you know, people that you’re frenemies with, or those who used to be friends, or those that you wish could be your friends.

So, uh, what makes somebody a valuable friend?

[00:00:52] Hannah Watson: I think shared values has a lot to go into that. When you have, um, Yeah, shared values, that helps create those lasting relationships.

[00:01:06] Mary Watson: I would also say shared experience.

[00:01:10] Cameron Watson: Ah, that’s one of my favorite topics. Yes,

[00:01:12] Mary Watson: I’ve actually been researching that for our social, a social skills program I’m working on, um, with one of my professors.


[00:01:20] Cameron Watson: you expand a little bit?

[00:01:21] Mary Watson: Uh, sure, I’m, I’m uh, minoring in therapeutic recreation and one of the professors I have for that, well, major in that field asked me to do research with her to develop a social skills program for adolescents on probation and then eventually school systems. We want to be able to bring it to schools and A lot of social skills involve friendships, and so something that I’ve been doing research on right now is shared experience.

And it’s really interesting because if you Even if you can’t be with the person at the Like, in the same setting, like, let’s say me and Hannah want to make cookies. If I can’t be with her, if we make cookies at the same time, there are studies that show that that creates a greater connection between us because we both know that we made cookies at the same time.

That’s a shared experience. Um, and it’s just very interesting to think about how our relationships are impacted by shared experience.

[00:02:32] Connor Graham: And kind of, kind of jumping off that. Um, maybe not so much from the education side, but from the experience side. Um, I take a lot of tests as just in engineering classes and math classes.

And we almost joke about it, but it’s like shared testing trauma, where we go through a test and we’re like, Oh my goodness, how hard was that? And then you have your friend. Or you have someone else texting you, and like, Hey, how was, how was your test? And, those are the people that really matter, that ask, like, okay, how was your test?

Like, I know we both had to go through this at the same time, and it was super hard, and we had to study, you know, together to get through it. And so, finding the, the people around you that care about the same things that you do, and then, at least I find, My friends are the ones who are like continually checking.

And I was like, oh hey, how was this assignment? Oh hey, how was this test? And so we kind of have all those things in, in common together. So, maybe not so much from the education side, but just from like going through it together. Um, I haven’t noticed any pattern, but now that you say that, I think that’s, that’s a really cool pattern that I, I’m gonna start looking out for.

[00:03:44] Cameron Watson: Nice.

[00:03:46] Stephen Parr: At least, at least for me, um, something that kind of indicates are a real friend. I can think of three things. Um, is one that they’re able to celebrate my successes with me. Um, That number two, they’re able to kind of be there with me when I fail or, um, things aren’t going as well. I’m able to empathize with that and not just kind of say, get over it, but also number three, um, be able to call me out when I’m doing something wrong and aren’t afraid to.

to tell me if, if I’m messing up in some way, shape or form. So those are the kind of ways that I look for in a real friend.

[00:04:35] Cameron Watson: Wow. Okay. So I just wrote those three things down. Thank you. Podcast can now end, but it’s a celebrate the success. Commiserate on failures and correct as needed. Is that a good way to summarize it?

[00:04:53] Stephen Parr: Yeah, that’s, that’s the way I would put it.

[00:04:56] Cameron Watson: Oh, that’s fantastic. And that’s, uh, a meaningful friendship. What, uh, what does that mean? How can you have different levels of friendships? Can you guys explain the dynamics of that?

[00:05:12] Connor Graham: I mean, I see it all the time in like, classes. I mean, you have, you have your good friends and then you have your, like, This is my biology friend. I’ll ask them how their weekend was, if they have any fun plans, but then we’ll never talk to each other ever again. And, that’s, like, it’s not a meaningful friendship.

Maybe I’ll pass them in the hall at some point and we’ll give each other a fist bump and carry on. I’d say we’re friends, but it’s not, like, meaningful. Um, they definitely don’t, I mean, we’ll probably celebrate with the successes, but they definitely don’t, like, They calm me out, and maybe they don’t suffer with me on, you know, they’re not looking out for me in that regard.

So, you definitely have your hallway friends and your class friends, and then you have your meaningful friends as well.

[00:06:01] Mary Watson: I like that.

[00:06:02] Hannah Watson: Yeah, I’d have to agree. I think, I think I could, I could be considered, or I could consider anyone really a friend, even, depending on how well I know them, but there, there is that.

The different levels of friendship, you know, whether it’s an acquaintance or a complete stranger that I could be friendly to. Um, and then, you know, my sisters, who are my best friends, and, you know, my boyfriend, who’s also one of my best friends. So it’s just, it’s like, there are different levels, and I think there’s no real solid way of separating it, other than, you’re kind overall to everyone.

And so, you could be a friend to anyone.

[00:06:47] Cameron Watson: You know, as a parent, I try to teach my kids that they have to be friendly to everybody. But they do not need to be friends with anyone. Um, you two, Mary and Hannah, you were raised by me. Can you share a little bit about what that, how you interpreted that growing up and how that affected your abilities to make friends or end friendships?

[00:07:11] Mary Watson: Hmm. I honestly think that I’ve learned, you taught that to me when I was young, but I don’t know how much of an application I had when I was younger, um, compared to the application I’ve had now as an adult, um, because there are a lot of people that, that I’m friendly with, I have shared experiences with them, uh, but for me, I recognize that I become very similar to the people I spend my time with.

And when I spend my time with people who have values that maybe I disagree with, or values that I don’t want to have for myself, I, those are not people that I want to be my close friends. And I can be friendly with them, but I, I can also set boundaries. And, you know, I don’t have to. Be their friend. Um, but I will say that one’s still hard for me.

I’m not the best at boundary setting and, uh, I, I sometimes end up in friendships that are a little bit more difficult, but

[00:08:26] Hannah Watson: Um, this I was actually talking to a friend the other day about this very topic. Um, she was having problems with another person. And she was just like, we just are so very different, I don’t know how to like, build a relationship with her. I was like, well, why are you trying to build a relationship with her if you don’t want one?

She was like, well, I live with her, you know, I probably should get to know her and be, you know, kind. I was like, yeah, you should be kind, you should be considerate. Um, and you can have those. One off conversations, but you don’t have to Force a relationship with someone when they’re it’s not gonna go anywhere.

You know, you’re not gonna live with this person forever You don’t need to be their best friend. You can be friendly but still have those boundaries of yeah We’re not gonna be homies for the rest of our lives. And so there’s no real point in forcing that More intimate relationship with someone you don’t want it with.

[00:09:35] Cameron Watson: Is there a way to identify what may, what, what behavior changes for someone that you’re friendly to versus someone you consider a friend? Because I know that you would serve someone that you’re friendly to. So what is it that changes?

[00:09:58] Mary Watson: I’m a very visual person. And I kind of created this image in my mind. A lot of years ago, of me being in this castle, and in the castle, around the castle, there’s multiple walls that go around, so there’s, I mean, it probably just looks like a target from, from an aerial view.


[00:10:25] Mary Watson: but, and those walls in a very real sense are the walls that I hold up.

With how intimate I will get emotionally with people or, um, personally with my personal experiences that I’ve been through. And there are some people that are there dining with me in the castle. But the majority of the people are kind of, you know, they’re outside the walls. And I don’t know if I could tell each person which wall they’re behind.

But I think that. It’s, it’s interesting because you would serve those people that you’re friendly to. Like, I, I’m the princess and I, these are my people living around my castle boundaries. But, um, but they can only come so close to me. I, I’ll, I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it.


[00:11:26] Hannah Watson: can I, can I try, Mary?

Um, you’re able to let them share whatever they need to share with you, but it’s what you share in return about your personal life that distinguishes whether or not you’re just friendly with them or if they’re a true friend. Is that kind of where you’re going? You got it. Cool.

[00:11:48] Cameron Watson: What do you guys think of that, Connor and Steven?

[00:11:50] Connor Graham: Um, I think, I think there’s a certain level of trust where Um, I think I’m friendly towards a lot of people, but it just takes time. And if, I think it’d be really hard to define a singular moment that I’m like, Alright, they are now my friend. Um, but, at least for me, I’ve noticed that it’s just like the time I spend with people.

And they’re kind of like what Mary and Hannah were saying. Uh, you just start sharing more with each other. Uh, you start realizing what is really going on in their life. You start thinking about, like, Hey, I remember this about, you know, this person. I remember they told me this. And when you start to bring up those things again and again, and remember that person, like, individually, I think that’s when you’re starting to make the switch from almost being self centered of like, Oh yeah, we’re just like, it’s just about me, whatever.

When you make that switch of like, actually, I do remember this about you or like, Oh, hey, I remembered you like this. Maybe we should go like, I have a friend who he loves rock climbing. And so he invited me the other day. And now that’s like, that’s what we talk about. And that’s like, Hey, I’m going to go rock climbing.

You want to come with me? And as soon as we made that switch to start thinking about other people instead of myself, I’m like, all right, he’s a friend. Like I knew if I needed something, I could, I could ask him and he’d be there.

[00:13:19] Cameron Watson: Okay. So. Before we, we move on, I’m just going to recap a little bit of what you said.

Uh, cause on my paper here, I have, uh, activity friends, time friends, and intimate friends. So they’re all different. And growing up, one of my kids had an activity friend. And he wanted that friend to be an intimate friend. But the only thing they ever did together were they would only do activities. They would go to Roaring Springs.

They would go to the YMCA. They would go and do stuff. They never just It always was an activity. And then there were the friends that, um, you could spend time with them. You didn’t have to be doing anything. You didn’t even have to be sharing experiences. You physical presence shared, uh, uh, Shared space would develop and cement that friendship.

And then those intimate friends, those that you would call on to share the hurt, to share your burden, to ask for help, the ones that are first on your list. To go to to celebrate and those that if they do give you correction, you’re more likely to accept it. And I, the more I think about what Steven said earlier, and I’ll give you a chance to talk more Steven in just a second, but I think you can almost gauge how deep of a friendship it is based on your willingness.

To consider their correction, and I’m liking this thought a lot. I’m going to be doing a lot of thinking over the next couple weeks just on that one, one little piece. So thank you for sharing that earlier. Um, Stephen, do you have anything to add or take away from what we’ve been talking about?

[00:15:26] Stephen Parr: Uh, I mean, not a whole lot.

I think it’s, it’s very much those things is how, how much I’m willing to. With this specific person, how much of my real self do I feel comfortable sharing with them? Um, you know, and that’s, that’s at least how I kind of distinguish, whether it’s just an acquaintance at work or something like that versus a real genuine friend, is how much of myself do I feel comfortable showing to this person?

And, um, and That’s how, yeah, no, that’s, that’s just how I know that I can trust them in to become that kind of intimate friend, if that makes sense.

[00:16:11] Cameron Watson: So my wife has accused me in the past of being a robot, not having emotions. She’s also accused me of being fake, wearing a mask, and she’s accused me of. Not letting people in.

All of those things are true. However, I would say that all of those things are true because they’re all part of me. And the way I tried to help her understand, um, if, to use Mary’s example of the castle, I’m going to use the example of a house. I have a house and I have my public facade and it’s the paint on the outside of the house.

It’s the color of the door. It’s the plants I put out there for everybody to see and It’s my grinning face that I try and present to the world. And then some people, if they come to my door and they knock, I’ll let them in and I’ll invite them. into my living room in my parents house. I love it. You walk in and on the left hand side is what we call the home teaching room.

It was the room that was only ever used for people coming to minister to them and they’d be welcomed in and that would be their guests and they would sit in this room that nobody ever used except for ministering, right? That, that’s still part of their house. They were welcomed in, but family, we never go there.

When we go to grandpa and grandma’s house, we go into their living room. We go into their kitchen. We go into the, that part of the house where, uh, we engage in partaking of food and we have discussions about family. We play games. We do all of those things in that part of the house that a lot of people.

Don’t see, but there are friends that come over from time to time and they get to that’s the part of the house they go to. And then you have the family, those friends that are so close. It’s as if they’re family, if they’re not, and they might get to go into the bedrooms. They might get to go into the weird places of your house that no one else sees.

Now, as I explained that to my wife to say, it’s all part of my house. But I’m not going to expose my bathroom to everybody. And if they need to use the bathroom, they get to use the guest bathroom, not my bathroom. Because I don’t want them going through my medicine cupboards and seeing what, what’s in there.

Oh, he uses Henson shaving. I don’t want him to see any of that. I want them to see the pristine bathroom that’s only used for guests. Because I don’t know what they’re going to do with the information. Because I don’t have, I don’t have a mutually Uh, a mutual trust in what

we’re going to do.

[00:19:00] Cameron Watson: So, while it is true I am a robot, in the fact that when horrible things happen, I lock down my emotions, and I set them aside, and I choose to act based on this up here.

I do that because if I would react based on the emotions, I could possibly hurt someone else. Or myself, by responding. And yes, it’s true that. I don’t let people in, but that’s how it’s supposed to be, in my opinion, otherwise you’re saying things that might not be appropriate for the world to hear, you know, uh, the joke is the, oh no, I won’t tell that joke here.

Anyway, so those are some of the things I think about for friends. Um, can, can I, how do you, when you see someone and you’re like, you know, I would like to be friends with them. Have you identified what characteristics draw you to someone else to be a friend that you’re like, man, I would like to do more stuff with them.

And while you think about it, I’m going to tell a story about my friend, Mike. Um, Mike and I worked together. He was a vendor for a client. I was a vendor for a client and we were asked to work together. And, uh, I was like, Oh my goodness, this guy’s competent. He’s crazy smart. He’s able to understand.

technical things and draw conclusions. He had a skillset that I didn’t have. And after working with him for maybe a week, I told him, I was like, Hey, Mike, regardless of whatever happens with this client, I want to stay in contact with you. I consider you a friend. Now, from his perspective, he had no idea if that was meaningful or not, but I’ve only said that maybe five times in my life.

So. So, to me, there was something about Mike that I wanted to maintain that friendship with. Still can’t identify exactly what it was. I’ve identified some of the attributes, but a lot of people have those attributes. So now, what is it that draws you to someone else?

[00:21:09] Mary Watson: My initial thought is, it sounds like you were attracted to

You were attracted to qualities that you may have wanted to, not necessarily possess, but qualities that you admired. Um, and I know for me, when I’m looking for friends, I like to find people who are like minded, who enjoy doing the same activities. I like to go to the gym. I like to find friends that I enjoy going to the gym as well, and that’s something that can create shared experience in the future, and, um, I like musicians, they’re intriguing, um, people that tell good stories, those are awesome people, and I, I want to be able to tell good stories, um, but that’s, that’s for me, I, I recognize that a lot of the people that I see in my life that I want to be friends with are people that I admire qualities and characteristics that I want to see in myself someday.

[00:22:10] Hannah Watson: I, uh, that’s really cool, Mary, because I’ve never really thought of it that way. Uh, what I generally see is the way others treat other people around them. Um, and so how they interact, and how they speak about others who are not present. That’s what kind of catches my initial. Uh, like, oh yeah, they’re a really cool person, I would like to be their friend, because I know that they treat their friends well and with kindness, and even people they don’t like, they treat with kindness.

So I think that’s my main thing, is when they are kind, like genuinely kind, not just the fake facade of kindness, and then, you know, they turn around and be like, oh my goodness, this person drives me insane. But You know, they have that general era of kindness. That’s, that’s what really draws me in.

[00:23:03] Stephen Parr: At least for myself, um, I like to think that I’m at least somewhat funny. And so, um, same. You are. I appreciate it. Um, my, and it almost sounds awful, but one of my favorite tests is just to kind of gauge the sense of humor of the person, because, uh, it’s one of my absolute favorite things on the planet, is to make someone else laugh.

And uh, if, if this is someone who can, who, who I can get that, that laughter fix from, then uh, that’s somebody that I want to keep in my life. So. Stephen also

[00:23:42] Hannah Watson: has the best laugh. Yeah, he does. I appreciate

[00:23:46] Connor Graham: that.

[00:23:47] Cameron Watson: Nice, I can’t wait to hear

[00:23:48] Connor Graham: it. There you go. This is going to sound really nerdy, but there’s a principle in math called the principle of superposition.

And it’s when you have a bunch of small things and you add them all together and they create usually something bigger. So in waves, right, if you have one wave it’s small, but if you add similar waves together those waves will just continue to increase. And vice versa, right, if you have a wave. Uh, that’s, you know, big on top, and it combines with a wave that’s big on the bottom, they will flatten out and make a, a line.

And, I think for me, I look for people who will increase my, my wave. That when I’m with them, it’s like we We, we collide and we, we superimpose each other and we create something that’s great. And I try to avoid people that when I’m with, I feel like we, we just become flat. Uh, because I think there’s a lot of qualities in people that I really admire.

And I’m not going to find someone who just checks all the boxes. But if I can find someone who, if when I’m around them, I feel better. When I’m around them, I like, I know we’re getting stuff done and we’re having good conversations. Uh, I think that’s what I’m really looking for in someone.

[00:25:09] Cameron Watson: That’s fantastic.

So, listening to you guys talk, I’m reminded about my best friend outside my family. His name’s Kyle. And, uh, when I first met him, the, what I enjoyed most about him was how much fun he injected into his things. And thinking now, we have family friends, and Tina is, um, she injects fun into everything, but at first, I did not, I was not drawn to Tina.

So I was thinking, well, it can’t be fun. So what, what was it that drew me? Initially, by the way, Tina, I have so much respect for now and I consider her a dear friend and that her family is crazy. I just love their family. But at first I, it’s not, it wasn’t appealing to me. Now, looking back, I think the reason I was drawn to Kyle is he was fun, but he also was very thought provoking and he would.

Ask questions. And then when I would give him suggestions from my perspective, he would try them out and then later on, he would come back and say, Hey, you know what, I am going to change this thing because I think you’re right because of these things. And it was so shocking that he was willing to be humble and take correction.

And so now, as I, I wonder if I’m drawn to people who are influenced. Or are able to be influenced by me. And I haven’t figured this out yet. I’m still working on it, but I think that might be true. Even in that professional world of, uh, where I identified Mike and he, I remember one of the conversations right off.

I was like, Oh no, we’ll do this with an API and it will be great. And we’ll do webhooks. And he’s like, wait, wait, wait, we can do it this way. I was like, yeah, he goes, okay, let’s do it that way. It is that, um, ability to shift one’s position almost instantly. If more information came in still don’t know for sure, but I think I’m starting to land on that and I wonder if that makes me Like narcissistic or something where you want if it does everyone to do what you want.

[00:27:32] Mary Watson: I’m in the same boat Because I think I think I am drawn to people that That will listen. One of my favorite things when I was a teenager and I had all these guy friends that were kind of new to, I don’t know how new they were to dating and stuff, but I liked to change their minds about dating and how they should treat girls.

They’d be like, Oh, it’s It’s just a date. I can sit out in the car and honk, you know, and I would love to make a case for why they should get up and knock on the door and have the girl open it and they can say, Hey, are you ready to go? You know, um, whether or not it’s a date actually, and it brought me so much joy.

One of my best guy friends growing up, we never dated. We were never romantic with each other, but every time he came to pick me up, he Knocked on my door and came inside to get me. He didn’t wait in his car for me to come out. And, and I, I found a lot of, uh, I was so proud of him and myself for that. But it was, it does feel good to be an influence.

Or to feel like you have an influence in other people’s lives. But yes, now saying it out loud, I feel very narcissistic.

[00:28:55] Hannah Watson: I, I don’t think it’s narcissistic, because why would you want to be with a person who doesn’t take your suggestions under consideration? You know, who is so stuck in their ways that they’re not willing to look outside of the box.

Because I’m willing to look outside of the box. I’m willing to be like, Oh, is there a better way of doing this? And I’ll explore that option. But if somebody is Like, using the wrong end of the knife to try and cut a tomato, and I’m like, Hey, actually, you know, you could use this end, and it’ll be much more, what’s the word, efficient.

Effective, efficient, um, and they’ll be like, Oh no, this is the way I learned it, this is how I’m gonna do it, you know? That’s, that’s, that’s stupid, you know? It’s not stupid, that, that example is stupid, but, um, if they’re not willing to, to grow and to, Look for ways to progress and be better, then It’s not, I don’t think it’s narcissistic to want to be around people who are willing to grow with you.

[00:30:02] Cameron Watson: That’s what a narcissist would say. Just kidding.

[00:30:05] Hannah Watson: Oh, dang. Oh well.

[00:30:08] Cameron Watson: Now, I, I actually, um, I hesitate using that word because I can’t ever remember the real definition of narcissist and your mom pulls it up every because she’ll be like, well, it’s a, it’s a bunch of things. And then she like explains it. And I can’t keep those bunch of things in my head to, of what it really is.

But I hope, I hope people understand what we’re trying to say, where it’s like a, almost a domineering type of personality trait where you want to be respected so much people. Credence to what you say. And yet that is kind of what I’m saying. I want to be thought of as lovely. And I want to be thought of as someone worthy of hearing out and considering they don’t have to do it, but consider my opinions that that’s kind of important to me for, uh, intimate friends, public friends or Facebook friends, it doesn’t matter, right?

[00:31:07] Connor Graham: I had, I was kind of on the other side where someone thought of me as an intimate friend, but I just thought they were like a time friend. Like we studied together. Uh, but while we studied, they would tell me things and I didn’t really have that much of an opinion. I was just like, I think they’re just getting things on their chest.

So my whole goal was like, I’m just going to listen to them. And I would always ask them, like, Hey, do you want me to listen to you? Do you want me to respond? And they’re like, just listen to me. I’m like, okay, I got you. And I always wanted to make sure that they felt like they were heard. And it was awesome.

At the semester, they’re like, I really appreciated all this. But, like, me on the other side, I was just, like, I was just listening. I wasn’t even doing anything. But I think sometimes it’s nice. That’s what we need is, like, not just to be heard, but to feel like we’ve been heard and that someone is actually listening to us.

And so, whenever I meet new people, I’m always trying to, to like, really, to listen to what they say, because I value that, and I hope that my friend or whoever I’m talking to values that as well.

[00:32:18] Cameron Watson: So, um, and that makes me think of, uh, someday I’m going to write a book and in the book, I’m going to have this statement and I’m, it’s my, it’s all, it’s all mine. Like I’m sure someone else has already thought of it and they probably have written many books on it, but it’s the, the here, the principle is this communication cannot continue to occur without your needs being met once the other person’s needs are met.

And. To unpack that a little bit, cause I realize it doesn’t flow off the tongue. Well, essentially what I’m saying is communication will stop once you meet the other person’s needs. or your needs will begin to be met. And so a lot of times if you’re needing an intimate friend, sometimes you have to be that one that Connor’s describing to listen and make sure that they know and they feel listened to and that they can, that they feel heard.

And what are some of the ways that you can, uh, show someone that you’re hearing them and that they’re heard and that Not only, you know,


[00:33:35] Cameron Watson: was a show once where someone was begging for their life and the person says, make your case. And the person makes their case and he goes, I hear you. And then lops off their head.

And, um, there’s a difference between hearing someone and then placing value and reflecting that back to the other person. So. Can you identify some of those things that you can do?

[00:34:03] Hannah Watson: Okay, Mary and I were talking about this last semester with someone, regarding someone, who, like Connor’s friend, was really looking for someone to listen.

Um, and the stuff they were talking about, Completely meaningless to me. Like, I had no care about it. I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. And it didn’t interest me at all. But one thing I really, really worked on because I knew this person needed some sort of connection in that sense.

And that’s why they were telling me these things. Um, was I would pick just one thing out of what they said. And I’d be like, I really, like, that’s so cool that this book character did this thing. I wonder, and then I would ask him a follow up question regarding that one thing. So even if All they said wasn’t that impactful for me.

I would lock on to one thing to make it known that I cared enough about the person to maybe not understand or listen to the entire thing, but to try and understand them as a human, and to make sure they knew that I cared to some degree. And, Mary, what was your experience with, with that person.

[00:35:28] Mary Watson: I don’t, I don’t know about the person, but you reminded me of an experience I had, um, where a group of guys in an apartment told me that they figured, they figured out how to make a girl feel good when she tells a story.

And I was like, really, tell me, tell me how. And they were like, all you have to do is repeat the last four, or three or four words that she says. But in a little bit more of an excited voice, and I was like really that’s interesting and me not a

[00:36:00] Cameron Watson: bit more of an excited voice

[00:36:02] Mary Watson: Yes, that’s exactly that’s exactly what it was and I found myself sitting there Later, telling them a story, and somebody did it, but I didn’t even notice.

I did not even notice, and I got more excited and continued to get more excited about this thing. Until I looked around You got more excited about it? Yes, exactly! And all these boys were laughing, and I was like, Oh my goodness, I fell into the trap! But it was so, it was so subconscious Would not even after they told me I felt very listened to and heard when they repeated back what I had said with that Enthusiasm, I think it kind of goes a little bit back to what steven was saying about celebration and i’m not saying that we don’t You know, have meaningful celebrations with our friends, but there is a little bit of a, a sense of celebration when somebody repeats back to you something cool that you said in a, in a, they match the energy or maybe even bring the energy higher and create that bigger wave like Connor was saying.

It was just a, reminded me of that experience where you kind of, they latched on to the last thing I said and escalated the conversation.

[00:37:24] Cameron Watson: That is awesome. Uh, so let’s get, let’s throw out some techniques like that. Um, repeating what the last, the last few words the person said. Uh, paraphrasing what the person said. Uh, asking clarifying questions about what the person shared. And that can be fun. Because, um, Sometimes when you disagree with them, instead of telling them that you disagree with them, see if you can ask them enough questions that they disagree with themselves.

So like I do this. This is horrible. I don’t know if I should put this on a video, but, um, there’s someone in my life who will say things that are absolutely untrue. But because I am literal, I treat them as if they are. And at first in our marriage, it was like, you said that? And she’s like, no, I didn’t say that.

I’d be


[00:38:25] Cameron Watson: Oh, okay. I thought you really said that. Like, she’d be like, so I told your mom she needs to go take a long walk off off a short period. I was like, you said that? No, I just was thinking that I didn’t say that. I was like, Oh, but you said you said it. Uh, it’s just let me tell my story, right? Well, this other person would say things that are quite disturbing, like perhaps, you know, um, Not, not as bad as, is it, you know, is 10 hours a day of TV too much or 12 hours a day of TV too much?

It’s not that type of disturbing, but they have opinions about things that I find sacred and they would make these blanket statements. And so I would just ask them questions until they would disagree with themselves and say, okay, and so how does that fit with what you said here? And they would say, Oh, no, no, that’s not what I meant.

And I’d be like, Oh, okay. I love that. That’s so much fun. What are some other

[00:39:19] Mary Watson: That’s interesting. There was a When I was serving my mission, I remember I was put with a companion, a sister that kind of said absurd things, similar to what you were saying, Dad. And I remember calling you And being like, I don’t know how to handle this girl, because I’m with her 24 7, she says these things, and she expects me to believe them, and to act on, you know, her opinions, and something you counseled me to do was to treat, and we, we kind of labeled them, like, as delusions, like what she was saying was delusional, at least in my eyes, completely like, whoa, that’s out there,

[00:40:04] Cameron Watson: and we defined that to be delusional.

She was perceiving reality different than what the typical person would perceive, perceive reality. That’s what we were defining.


[00:40:15] Mary Watson: hmm, but your recommendation to me was to treat it as delusional and make it a little humorous. And that, it wasn’t mean, it was never mean, but when she said something absurd, I would be like, Really?

I would laugh and um, And it actually made our relationship really awesome. I don’t know how it worked, but we got along really well. Um, and, and I think she kind of got a little bit of a rush from that too. She was like, oh, I’m funny. Like my, Mary thinks I’m funny right here. And, and then I didn’t have to deal with the, okay, now I have to, I’m expected to act on this thing because it’s, it was a joke.

And it became a joke really fast with the, but I think it was still meaningful for the other person somehow.

[00:41:15] Cameron Watson: Yeah. And let, let me share a little bit about my insight on this. And you know, some psychologist is going to be just rolling, just rolling their eyes at my, my, the way that I manipulated the situation.

And I, granted, right, I have a weird personality and I mask very well in social settings. And, um, what I found is I don’t like conflict. And so I try and find ways to not have conflict. But I, more important to me is I don’t want, um, untruths to go unchallenged. And so those two things are really hard when someone is very opinionated, and yet they’re totally wrong.

And there was this gal, And I loved her husband. He was so chill and awesome. But she was in a leadership role in an organization that I was also a volunteer leader in. And she would make these statements and the entire room would go quiet because no one wanted to say you’re wrong because then she would fight harder for her position.

And so. Uh, I kind of figured things out for her and I would talk to her after the meetings and I would say, could you tell me more? So one of my, this is a technique or a skill, right? If you disagree with someone, instead of saying, I disagree, say, Oh. That’s interesting. I don’t understand. Can you tell me more and invite them to keep talking?

Okay. And look for, look for the truth behind what they’re saying, because almost everybody will have some principle that you can agree with that you can identify. And then you can go, Oh, I agree with that principle. And then you can say, Oh, okay, I see. So you’re saying, and then you can say a truth and leave the rest of it.

As the dog poop on the side of the road that it really is, right? It’s not your dog. You don’t need to clean it up. You can move on. So when i’m looking at this gal and she would say this really all youth should be wearing Uh, clothes that go from the neck down to the ankle. And she’d be like, serious. Well, I started saying, neck to the ankle.

Oh, that is awesome. Nice one. And then we’d move on. And pretty soon, she would start to engage and I, uh, she would start, stop engaging with everybody. And she would say, Hey, Cameron, I’d be like, yeah, she’d be like, what if we required everybody to give up their agency and live exactly the way I want them to be like, Oh, Satan’s plan.

That’s so fun. Way to call it out. Good one. I’m tempted by that one too. You’re so fun. And then we’d move on. Well, the head of the organization, uh, he was the bishop at the time. If you guys can read between the lines, he came up to me later and he’s like, you work with this lady really well. Can you share with me how you’re doing it?

I was like, I don’t think I can Bishop. And he’s like, no, seriously, I’ll keep it to myself. But I, I just, I, I’m constantly in conflict with her. We’re not unified. We’re not moving forward. I just. I, I look at you and you work really well with her. What is it you do? And I said, well, honestly, Bishop, everything that comes out of her mouth, I treat as if she’s joking.

And then I identified the truth that I can find behind what she said. And he’s like, are you serious? Is that what you do? I was like, yeah, watch. And so in the next meeting, I got him to laugh out loud when I responded to her statement that had to do with refreshments, where she said, Well, let’s divide them all into individual portions and put them in baggies and hand each person a baggie labeled with their name.

And so I said, Oh, my goodness. That is hilarious. And let’s make sure we don’t have anyone any extra. So if guests come, they don’t get any. And if someone doesn’t show up, let’s make sure we deliver them to their house because that would just make them feel good. I was like, I’m just kidding. Obviously, yes, let’s let’s take See who’s not there and maybe we can have some of the youth go visit them with some of the extra refreshments.

That’s actually a really good idea sister so and so and the bishop laughs out loud. He’s like, because he realized what I had done and he saw how it was, how it was used. Now, this good sister, her heart was almost adjacent to being in the right place. Her instinct was to control everything and everybody.

That’s, that’s what her instinct was. That was her natural man. And so instead of fighting that, I just gave her a way that she could say the thing, get it out of her head, and then we could unite on whatever the principle was that was true. And that was the technique that I used back then, that then I’ve taught to Mary.

My other kids as well, and it’s it’s kind of you know agreeing with thine adversary quickly But you do it in a way that doesn’t make it sound like you Support what they’re saying you’re you’re trying to find the truth behind what they’re saying

[00:47:03] Hannah Watson: So this can, this can be used for leadership positions when you’re in the not leadership position. Does that make sense what I’m trying to ask? Like, I’m a student, and sometimes I have professors that say things that I’m just like, what? And they teach it as, as truth, whereas I know it’s not truth. Um, so what, what would I What can I do in that situation?

[00:47:34] Cameron Watson: It’s really important that you don’t embarrass someone in a leadership capacity, and you don’t undermine their ability to teach truth that they do have. So, if you as a student in class, and if it’s something, you know, important, like if they’re like, and God does not exist at a fundamental level, it’s just a construct of our minds.

Uh, that would be something I would have to stand up and disagree with, especially in a school that is based on the principles of God, right? So you have to choose your battles. If you’re going to choose your battle, though, uh, if you want to make sure you have to, so choose your battle, then choose your environment and then choose your tactic.

So if it’s. Appropriate in class, uh, I would ask a clarifying question and I used to do this in college all the time. And the teachers loved it because they, it gives them a chance to be even smarter. And so I would choose my environment if I was going to have to disagree with them. Um, for example, I had a database instructor.

Now I understood databases better than they did, by the way, it’s the only B I got in. In my college, when I went back, it was very frustrating because yeah, except for the one that I was an expert in. Right. And isn’t that kind of true for life? It wasn’t as humble as I needed to be, but I would, he would say something and I would say, can you clarify that a little bit?

Because I. read here that it said this, can you explain, and usually that would give them enough information. So you’re not saying, Hey, you’re wrong. The book says this. You identify the source and you ask them to put what they said fit with the source. And almost all the time, if you have the source and you say, Oh, can you, can you just expand a little bit and tell me how that fits this so that it’s not you saying they’re wrong.

It’s a. Book or a person of authority. Like you could say, Oh, that’s interesting. You know, elder Bednar said this. Can you, can you kind of help me bridge that gap? And so I can understand what you said better now, what you’ve done is you’ve elevated them in their own minds, even higher to another source of authority to say, obviously you’re as smart as this other person is.

So can you explain it to me? Dumbo over here who doesn’t get it? Can you explain a little bit better? So that I can come up to your level of greatness and really what it’s going to give them a chance to do is to think about the principle, the person, the source, and if they say the source is wrong, then you have the opportunity to say, Oh, you know, I think I’m going to go with what the book says, or you can say.

Oh, okay. I’m going to go with Elder Holland, right? Oh, okay. Thank you. I’m going to go with this and so you’re not agreeing with them. You’re just choosing a different path that they just talked about. So because they talked about these two things. You’re choosing one of the things they talked about, and it just happens to not be theirs.

So that’s in public. In private, you can, you can have more of a dialogue if they’re willing. And the tactics there are to seek first to understand. And you don’t ever have to be understood if it’s a person of authority, unless you think that what they’re doing is damaging others. And then, if you ever do get to a position of understanding, you can say, Oh, okay, I think I understand what you’re saying is this true principle.

And then you say, I was confused before because of these three things that you said, right? Now you’re coaching them, but you’re not telling them you need to change these three things. You’re saying, I was confused because of these three things. Now I understand. And that gives them an opportunity to change their behavior for next time.


[00:51:46] Cameron Watson: that make sense? Okay.

[00:51:47] Hannah Watson: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

[00:51:50] Cameron Watson: Anyone disagree, want to talk to me or laugh at that joke?

[00:51:54] Mary Watson: I, I don’t disagree. I think those are very good ways to handle it. I do, I was actually on the phone with one of my friends the other day and I won’t share what his teacher said during the class because it was rather political and I don’t, it just, it was very far out there and, and he was telling me what she had said and she insulted multiple groups and like it was just She really dug this little hole for herself, and it was delusional, absurd.

And he said that he just closed his computer and walked out. And the guy that I was talking to, he’s 6’8 and he plays football for the school he goes to, and he sits right in the front. And he, he said, I think I made a good point. I was like, oh my goodness. But, but I do, I do think that there are times when If truth is challenged and somebody’s not, I think you’re pretty, it is sometimes easy to tell when somebody is willing to talk about it or they’re not, and I do think that there are times that call for statements like that.

I know that this friend that didn’t, that I talked to, he didn’t say anything, but he definitely made a statement. Um, by leaving that class when she said the thing that she said,

[00:53:26] Cameron Watson: you know, I, I love that that he was principled enough that he got up and left and that, that was a great way of communicating that.

Um, I wonder, so there are ways to be submissive in your rebellion. And essentially that’s what he was doing. He was like, I disagree with this. I rebel against it. I, I leave. Uh, I wonder if the, there’s a situation where you could potentially say, you know, perhaps raise your hand and just ask this question.

And this is so like, this is just manipulative in every way. And it’s on purpose, right? Because you’re wanting to disagree with, without taking away. their ability to share future things that are true. You can say, so in this class, if I strongly disagree with most of the things you just said, but I agree with some of the things you said in principles, but what if I disagree with like everything?

What’s an appropriate way for me to disagree with you in this classroom setting? By asking it in that type of question, you state all the things that are true. And you let the person expound. And if they say it’s not appropriate in this setting, then you say. Okay, so are we’re not it’s not a discussion then does this have to do with the subject matter that I’m not getting because sometimes a lot of the political stuff that gets injected into education actually doesn’t have anything to do with the subject matter and by asking them how to handle when you disagree and if they say that you’re not allowed, which is Normal, even though college is supposed to be a place of ideas where people discuss.

That’s not how it is in reality Well, then you can say well, I think If the rest of us just sit here and grin and bear it so that you can get through your tirade When when you’re ready to teach the subject again, then I will engage and I’m excited to do so until then I’m going to have a blink face since I can’t disagree and you tell them what your response to their things are that you are disagreeing with and then you can do your, your deal.

Now, if you do that publicly, you’re risking, you’re risking yourself. If you do it privately, it’s probably not that risky. Uh, did I, did I teach you guys about the wacky meter growing up? Okay. So Connor, you haven’t heard of the wacky meter. Steven, have you ever heard of the wacky meter?


[00:56:15] Cameron Watson: So. I worked in an office with a group of guys and we would talk about the most bizarre things.

And sometimes halfway through the conversation, we would realize how insane we were in what we were saying. We were just being wacky. And so we started doing this thing called the wacky meter. And if someone’s got onto a subject and they just were rambling and it was not making any sense, you’d just put your arms up like this and you’d just be like, That’s wacky.

You just registered on my wacky meter, right? In reality, I’ve used this with someone who was going off in areas that I did not understand, nor did I want to. And this is the other thing. Sometimes it’s not okay to continue to seek to understand. Because what you’re, what they’re trying to have you understand is so against what you’re, where you are in life, it’s not going to register.

And so here’s, here’s what I did with this, uh, good lady who

she thought that all illness and injury was spiritually based.

And when

[00:57:29] Cameron Watson: I say all, I mean all. So you get in a car wreck and you break your arm, it wasn’t the car wreck, it was the fact that you haven’t repented of some sin in the past that needs to be, you know, taken care of. And as she’s expressing herself, and I realize she’s going down this path, and I, All of a sudden I, I came to the like aha moment that I was not going to understand where she’s coming from.

I interrupted her and we’ll call her Susan. That’s not her name. I said, Susan, have you ever heard of the wacky meter? And she’s like, no. I was like, oh, so the wacky meter, uh, I’ll give you an example. I love essential oils. Like, I don’t know how they work, but like peppermint and. This stuff called breathe. I use it all the time when it’s totally wacky, right?

It’s not. It’s like not medicine, but essential oils. I use them and they work. So it’s kind of wacky, right? She’s like, yeah, I was like, well, people don’t understand wacky things unless they experience them themselves. And you you registered on my wacky meter. In other words, you’re coming from things in such a way I have never experienced, and I have no concept where to meet you at.

So you’ve completely pegged out my wacky meter and there is no place that we can start where I’m going to end up where you are at. So I apologize for not being able to understand at all what you’re talking about, nor am I going to be engaging it because you’re so far from where I’m at. And she, she then immediately tried to explain herself.

Oh, well, it’s based on these. Whatever. I was like, Oh, so there you go again. And I’m still stuck in wacky land. We’re going to have to wait until the wacky meter comes back down. And it takes a while. And in the end, I was able to maintain that friendship without ever approaching something that I darn near feel like is like anti God, you know, it, we, we are not punished in that manner from my perspective.

And, uh, you know, mortality happens, and it’s not based on my decisions because Christ was crucified. You think those you think those In the hands were caused because he did something? No, because he was perfect. I’m sorry. It doesn’t work that way. Base principle, right? But I didn’t want to get into that with her.

I had

[00:59:58] Connor Graham: um, I’ve actually kind of, I’ve never called it the Wacky Me before. That’s, that’s actually awesome. But I learned this on my mission from a companion. Um, and we would get, we would get bashed where people would attack us all the time and I’ve heard It’s just some crazy things, and I never knew what to do because anytime I try to respond people be like, no, no, no, no, and I got put with this, my friend, and one time this person just started arguing with us and bringing up the craziest things, and I’m like, I have no idea what to do with this, and my friend just looked at me, and then he looked at the guy we were talking to, and he’s like, dude, that is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard, and the guy kind of stopped.

And he was like, what? He’s like, yeah man, I cannot even understand it. That is just, that’s insane. Where did you hear that? And the guy was like, uh, And he’s like, you know what? I’m sorry man, we cannot understand it. That is just out there. But if you ever want to talk about what we think about it, let us know some other time.

And just totally diffuse the situation. I’m like, oh my goodness. That was so cool. Um, but now I know it’s called the Wacky Meter. Um, so I feel like I use that all the time, but I just never realized what it was.

[01:01:23] Cameron Watson: That’s awesome. The best thing is when you’re about to talk to somebody about something that’s on the edge, you can self identify and say, Hey, look, I recognize this is Kind of wacky and then you’re able to in a very non threatening way You don’t have to have people correct you you can just say yeah I kind of feel like this thing that doesn’t exist in the scriptures is this way, right?

That’s my that’s where I use it. Most of all when I’m talking to my family. I’m like, hey Wacky don’t don’t spread this one around

Well, we have talked a lot about friends we’ve talked a lot about communication and tactics Um, is there any, any thoughts that you’ve had while we’ve been talking that you’re like, Oh, I missed an opportunity. I wanted to share this one thing.

All right. Well, in closing, why don’t you introduce yourself and, uh, we’ll start with Hannah and go to Mary, Connor, Steven, and then I’ll close up.

[01:02:31] Hannah Watson: All right. Um, well I’m Hannah. I’m Cameron’s daughter and Mary’s sister. Uh, I go to BYUI and I’m 20. There we go. That’s a pretty good intro.

[01:02:47] Mary Watson: Is it me next? I may have forgotten.

Uh, my name is Mary and I am a student at BYU Idaho in Rexburg and I’m studying health psychology. Um, which is really fun. And so these kinds of conversations are some of my favorites when we get to unpack the, the mind and behavior and how we can influence. These are my friends.

[01:03:17] Connor Graham: My name’s Connor Graham. Um, I’m also here at, at BYU Idaho here in Rexburg. I’m studying mechanical engineering. I want to go to law school so I’m pretty sure I’ll have these conversations throughout all my life. Um. And I love these. This is how I grew up. And just having conversations like these, so. Um, It’s nice to meet you all.

It’s nice to be here.

[01:03:46] Stephen Parr: I’m, I’m Steven. Uh, I’m also a student here at BYUI. I study history with a minor in philosophy. Um, I I’m sorry,

[01:03:58] Cameron Watson: but that deserves an interruption. Favorite classes of all time are philosophy and history classes. I am such a huge fan of the mental gymnastics that you have to train your brain to start to utilize in order to get through philosophy classes and to recognize what.

You know, to be able to reason and to, ah, that is fantastic. For what reason did you choose that as your education?

[01:04:32] Stephen Parr: Well, with, with history, it’s just always been a passion. I love stories and that’s, that’s what a historian does is deal in stories and learn what you can from them. And, um, With, with the philosophy portion of it, I also just love learning, well I guess they kind of combine, um, I love learning about why people did the things that they’ve done, um, and what they believe now, in the past, and going on into the future, and why.

And so that’s, that’s just kind of all mixed together into this, uh, wonderful little brain of mine, so.

[01:05:14] Cameron Watson: That’s fantastic. Yeah. And, uh, how far into your education are you?

[01:05:22] Stephen Parr: I’ve got, I should be graduating, excuse me, graduating next April is when I’m, when I’m set for.

[01:05:30] Cameron Watson: Awesome. Let’s go.

[01:05:32] Stephen Parr: Yeah.

[01:05:33] Cameron Watson: All right. Well, my name is Cameron Watson and I’m one of the founders of Connect and Conquer.

And if you’d like to hear more of these types of discussions, you can go to connectandconquer. com. And if you want to help us out, be sure to share this with your friends, hit a like comment. And, uh, if you don’t mind subscribing, we’re getting closer and closer to being able to monetize these podcasts. So we appreciate you and hope you have a wonderful rest