Mastering Emotional Sobriety: Learning The Power Of Values And How To Use Them With Jeff Arthur, The Values Conversation

The Most Important Conversations | Jeff Arthur | Emotional Sobriety


Emotional sobriety and knowing our values grant us the power to respond, not react – shaping not just conversations, but the very essence of our lives. In this episode, we have Jeff Arthur of The Values Conversation talk all about personal values and emotional sobriety. He explores how our values shape actions, behaviors, and even global events. From cybersecurity hacks to global conflicts, Jeff Arthur discusses the conflicting behaviors arising from similar core values. Learn how emotional sobriety acts as the linchpin in our ability to respond rather than react, especially in heated debates and familial gatherings. Finally, Jeff reveals the secrets to fostering unity amid diverse perspectives, emphasizing the importance of responding rather than reacting. Tune in now and learn how to better engage with the world around you.

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Mastering Emotional Sobriety: Learning The Power Of Values And How To Use Them With Jeff Arthur, The Values Conversation

Welcome to another episode of The Most Important Conversations. I’m here with September Dohrmann, as always September how are you doing?

I’m doing great today. It’s been a rainy three days here in Florida, and I just love the rain, so I’m on cloud nine.

I also love the rain, and we’re here with our guest, Jeff Arthur. Jeff, how are you doing today?

I am living the dream. I want to say I will stand up for all of the people who do not like the rain and prefer the sunshine and days where you can get out and go play rather than the rain, storms, and whatever. I will fight the good fight against you two and win, but that’s a whole other issue and subject.

We need a little bit of both anyway… This is an interesting way to segue into it. We’re having a conversation about Values for this episode and you told me what you value. You value sunshine and September values rain. September, if you value rain, I’m not sure why you’re in Florida.


The Most Important Conversations | Jeff Arthur | Emotional Sobriety


We have rainy seasons.

Yeah. You get lots of rain.

Jeff, let’s dive into it. You’ve been someone who has spent a number of years focused on this topic of Values. You work with companies, organizations, and leadership teams to establish a common Value System in their organization. That seems to be something you feel is at the epicenter of what impacts the trajectory of a company, but it’s not just companies, it’s communities of people, and as people we all have values.

Share with us your definition first. Let’s make sure we’re aligned and we’re talking about the same thing here. When you talk about Values and you’re working with leaders and executives in different companies, how do you explain it to them?

There are a lot of definitions out there and most of what I’ve heard are good definitions. For me, the core values are those that I stand on, that which are most important to me, and guide my decisions. It guides what is important to me; what I do, what I don’t do, what I participate in, what I don’t participate in, how I act in certain areas, how I don’t act, and who I interact with.

It all comes down to what is most important to me and what is a driver in my life whether I realize it or not. Most people don’t realize it’s driving their thinking, and driving what they’re deciding – which is part of what we want to do; we want to pull those values out so it’s more understood and recognized, so that I understand the  impact they have on my life.

I don’t think most people are really that connected to their values, at least consciously. It’s certainly a driver under the surface subconsciously but if you randomly polled people on the street and asked, “What are your most important values or what do you value most?” you’d stump them.

Yes, absolutely. We don’t really connect how the values affect our feelings.

In other words, if I value fairness and I see something happening with groups of people or individuals, or how someone treats a child, or how a spouse or significant other treats one another, if I see something I don’t like because I value fairness, that can create anger, frustration, and irritation. I don’t think “Why’s that bother me so much?”. We all have areas in our lives where things bother us more than other stuff. Such as, “Oh my gosh, that hacks me off!”, or “I can’t stand people who do that.” Why? Where is that coming from? A lot of times, it comes from what I value and I don’t realize it at all; I don’t make those connections internally at all.

If you look at a lot of what’s going on in the world, we’re in an interesting period in human history where a lot of the systems and structures we’ve come to rely on for decades, at least since the second World War, are being re-thought and, in some cases, completely challenged and tore down. There’s a lot of crunchiness out there, a lot of fighting, a lot of anger, a lot of fear, a lot of different things, and we’re seeing it spill out. All you have to do is turn on the daily news and you’re going to see something of it.

What you’re saying is that people are not connected to and tuned into what they value, they end up fighting about the topics. If we could get people starting to talk about what they value, we might actually find we value the same things. That becomes a different place from which to start a new conversation.

That’s exactly right. A lot of people value either the same thing or something that is very similar to one another. Whether I value trustworthiness and you value honesty, that’s similar. Whether I value fairness and you value justice, that’s workable. There are all kinds of things we value that bring us closer together than we realize.

There’s a ton of overlap people don’t recognize, don’t understand, and they don’t realize how that’s affecting everything. They’re getting caught up in the emotional baggage and away they go. The mob mentality takes over and they don’t think beyond it  at all.

One of the things we talk about in TMIC and the Whole Life Architecture work is how Perception is Reality. What’s the relationship, from your perspective, between values and perception?

It depends on whether I understand my values or not. If I understand what my values are, that’s going to greatly affect my perception of stuff. If I don’t understand what my values are, it’s going to affect my perception, but I’m not going to understand how, and I’m not going to recognize the depth of that perception.

I keep thinking about September and when I was first part of the TMIC group. When I was first joining the group and September went through the Values Conversation Assessment. I had no idea who September was, but we talked about what is valued the most in three big areas of people’s lives. Personal life, relationships, and the business world; regardless of what business I’m in.

In September’s case, September valued honesty in all three arenas, which is very rare, not in that people don’t value honesty but to value the same value in those three arenas. It was the first value she identified in all three areas. In personal, business, and relationships, honesty was number one. I used her as an example of how people who have the same values in those three arenas, honesty is the most important thing. She doesn’t know how to deal with people who lie.

The quickest thing you can do to end any kind of interaction with September is lie to her. As soon as you lie, she has no idea what to do with you other than drop you through a hole into some kind of abyss and walk away from you because she doesn’t know what to do with you. She can’t deal with it. Honesty is the most important thing. September, am I wrong so far?

Not at all.

Think about that. The value of honesty drives everything about what she perceives in relationships. It drives what she perceives in business. It drives what she sees in herself. That perception is driven by honesty. While she would’ve said before she did the assessment, “I’m an honest person,” and I don’t mean to put you on the spot and maybe I’m wrong about this, but did you realize how big honesty was for you until that was pulled out?

I didn’t realize that it was that important. It’s part of my makeup. Think about something that’s natural to you. After  you pointed it out to me, I could see the connections and why I have dropped relationships in the past.

I firmly believe if you’re not honest, how can you resolve anything? If you’re in business and you’re not being honest, transparent and clear, (It doesn’t have to be “the truth”. It’s what your truth is.) You don’t have a starting place. You’re creating this fictitious idea of what something could be if you’re not starting from a place of honesty.

It’s the same thing in a relationship. How can you grow with your partner if you’re not being completely and totally honest with them? There’s nothing else to do if you’re not being honest.

Chad, I present case study number one, September Dohrmann. How does it affect your perception?

It’s a good case study. Not everyone is going to value honesty. It’s an example of how understanding your core values helps you understand why you have the things you have in your life and why you have the people you have in your life.


The Most Important Conversations | Jeff Arthur | Emotional Sobriety


Behind that is the question of, what is the relationship between values and perception? Perception is the way we gather data from our outer environment and based on that data we’re unconsciously (for the most part) making decisions; binary versus choices, because you need to have a much wider perspective to have more than two options to make a choice. So we’re making decisions based on what we’re going to do. That could be how I’m interacting with someone. It could be what I’m going to have for dinner. It could be what I do for a job. It could be any number of things. For the majority of people, 95% of what they did yesterday, they’re going to do again today and so on and so forth.

So the value system informs and creates a context for the perceptual filter in terms of, “What am I letting into my life as information or data that’s important to me?”. In the case of September, honesty is a value of hers. Your perceptual filter, September, is going to be letting in data that’s important for you to evaluate whether someone is honest or not honest. This is all happening in the background.

Let me ask you a question, when you went through the Values Conversation with Jeff and became aware that honesty was one of these key or core values, how has it affected the way you’ve gone about your day?

You have an awareness that honesty matters. It was always there. It had always been impacting your perceptual filter before, but you weren’t aware of it. When you were making decisions, you would make them, but you wouldn’t know why. Has that changed since you have the new understanding? Is it something you’re really intentional about when you interact with people or you’re in circumstances?

Two things came to the surface for me. One is I’m so easy to deal with because all you have to do is be honest with me. I prefer direct communication. I was talking to Collin. I was asking him for feedback. He tells me , “Sometimes, I can be super brutal.” I say , “I like it like that because I don’t have to question anything. I’m so clear.”.

I’ve noticed I have a deeper connection when somebody’s brutally honest. It’s also given me grace knowing not everybody has honesty as their number one value. I must give other people grace and use discernment, leaning into my intuition; “How does this feel? Does something feel off here?”. I’m paying more attention to those pieces. It brought some really beautiful awareness about myself and how I interact with people.

Let me ask you another question on honesty, though. When I think of honesty, when I have to interact with someone, usually what they’re telling me, I can verify. That’s how I know they’re being honest. It’s verifiable. That’s not always the type of interaction we have. If you meet someone for the first time, you’re not likely going to be able to verify anything.

You’re at a conference, a dinner meeting, or something and they’re talking to you and telling you whatever they’re telling you about their life, what they do, or whatever. You have no idea if they’re being honest with you or not. How do you assess that? This goes to The Values Conversation process you lead people through. There’s not any one value that we’re operating from.

September, there might be other ones. Were there other ones when you worked with Jeff that are related to honesty that you were like, “I don’t know if you’re being honest with me, but you’re being this with me.” or, “I’m sensing that, and that tweaks these values for me.” It’s a formula, isn’t it?

I’m going to let Jeff answer the formula question and how those work together. I’m aware of values. We have them as a background operating system, but I’m not sure how they connect, how one supports the other, and if one takes over.

But I’ll answer your question about not knowing when somebody’s being honest with you. If you pay attention to how the person is being, there’s a lot that can be disclosed and how people are being energetically. That’s where I lean into my intuition. I let go of anything that’s going on here in my head; any thoughts.

It’s almost like you step into the space of emotional sobriety where you’re neutral to what the feelings are. There’s no judgment to what you’re feeling, but you’re paying attention to it. Something feels off about what they said. Maybe their body language shifted a particular way, their demeanor changed, or how they communicate a point. If something doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right, and I trust that.

Jeff, let’s go to that then. Let’s talk about the formula of the Values Assessment. You take people through it. We have many different types of values. Talk to us a little bit about how these things work together. It sounds a bit alchemical in a way.

If I understand your question correctly, going back to your example of you don’t know if they’re being honest with you. You really don’t. September gave a great answer. You become more aware of what is important to you. You can catch the energy. It helps to answer the question a lot of times. You’ve been around people and you’re like, “There’s something about them I don’t like. That doesn’t connect with me and I’m not really sure why.” Sometimes, this answers the question.

I want to be careful with the people that are reading. It’s not about the value of honesty. That was her example. For you, Chad, creativity was the value for you that showed up in more than one arena. That’s unusual also. Most of the time, the values don’t necessarily overlap. If they do, it’s about intensity. In other words, how important and deep it is for you.

Honesty as a value is very important to September, but as I look at her Values Conversation, she also, on a personal level, values personal growth, peacefulness, and unconditional love. Those are all very important, but honesty is super important.

For you, Chad, you’re a creative person. You don’t know how to not think outside the box. You’re going to find the solution. You’re going to creatively identify, recognize, solve, create, put together, or find the people who think like that as well.

It’s always back to the pattern of, if I understand your question, “What is important to me is going to drive what I’m doing, thinking, interacting with, how I’m solving the problem, and what I’m not doing”. Even September said a while ago, “I was doing this, but I didn’t realize it.”. That’s the power of the blind spot, both positive and negative.

“I don’t realize I have this problem.” That’s the power of the blind spot.

“I didn’t realize how important this was to me.” That’s the power of the blind spot and how that affects the perceptions we all deal with and struggle with. It can lead us, affect us, pull us down, lift us up, and interact with all that’s going on in our lives as well.

How I use The Values Conversation is very simple. Both of you have been through it. When I say simple, I don’t know that I can overemphasize the word “simple”. It’s easy. It’s simple. Yet, it draws out a ton of information to help people identify what is most important to them in the three arenas: personal, business, and relationships. From the Values Conversation, we help people identify who they are from those values and what they are doing with their life. It becomes simple but powerful because now I begin to understand, “This is who I really am as a human being. This is what I stand on and what I’m trying to accomplish.”.


The Most Important Conversations | Jeff Arthur | Emotional Sobriety


It’s really about up-leveling an individual’s awareness and, the impact on the other people they interact with, especially in the context of teams. I know you did a Values Conversation Assessment with all of the TMIC team as well and what was interesting, if I recall, was how incredibly aligned the values of the TMIC team are. I don’t know if that’s unusual or not.

This is a lead-in to my question. When you work with organizations I’m assuming you try to get them to see how their values can connect?

And part two of the question, is there ever a situation where you’re working with the leadership and notice so-and-so’s values are not aligned with this organization; in which case they may have to let go of the team member because it’s not a fit?

The first part of your question is “yes”. This helps people, teams, and organizations begin to realize how similar they are.

For the second part of your question, I never make a recommendation on letting somebody go. What I say is, “Chad, September’s values are way different than yours.”. Part of understanding what we value is that it translates almost immediately into how I communicate with people.

Once I understand, “Oh, September values this. That’s what is important to her,” that helps me communicate from a whole different perspective. That helps me understand what she’s going to hear, how it’s going to translate to her, how it’s going to impact her, or how it’s going to stimulate more excitement, growth, or whatever with her. When I understand what she values, even if it doesn’t align with me, I understand how to connect with her better.

Are there opportunities or situations where the relationship doesn’t fit? Sure, but most of the time what happens in those situations is that it can explain why September never really fit into the picture or, it can explain why Chad was always struggling to connect, or why we couldn’t connect with this.

It’s not right or wrong. There’s no judgment on the values. It’s whether there’s alignment or whether there’s not. If not, is there a way to connect with that, or is it better for us to help you or help them find a place where they can connect and really start to thrive because I don’t know if that’s going to happen here.

Not all of what someone will value is always deemed positive. There are people in the world who value things we wouldn’t call positive values. I’m thinking of some of the stuff that’s going on in our society right now. Is that true?

What I instantly think of, Chad, is we can value a lot of the same things, but it’s how it manifests through other belief systems and through other cultural influences.

For example, I did a podcast a couple of years ago with Richard Levick, Richard owned a global crisis counseling and litigation law firm, and during the time we recorded the podcast there were a few massive companies that had been hacked. The hackers were  saying, “Pay us X millions of dollars or you can’t have the information.”.

What we talked about was how these groups had openly identified that they valued growth.

So if you paid the money, what they were doing was taking the money and upgrading their systems to make it easier for them to steal your money. They were improving their systems to destroy your life because they valued growth and enterprise. They valued all the things you and I would say is really good stuff, until you put it in the hands of a guy who wants to steal whatever he can from you because of the cultural impact in his life.

You then have a whole other ballgame. It was interesting how they valued a lot of the same things other people value, but it was manifesting in a whole other arena of life that people would normally say, “I don’t want to operate there at all”.

That’s interesting. I asked the question because sometimes people can get confused with values versus how they manifest certain actions, behaviors, or things like that. September, what are your thoughts on this?

It certainly brings a lot of clarity to behavior.Look at all the chaos that’s going on in the world. You’ve said several times Chad, we have a bunch of toddlers running countries.


They’re throwing tantrums and disposing of people to fight their fights..

Absolutely, let’s think about what’s going on in the world. You’ve got pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian forces that would both tell you they value truth and fairness.

Also, life. They would probably say “life”, right?

Absolutely. They would say life and yet the behaviors are at the exact opposite extremes of the spectrum.

But if we look at it, these guys value the same stuff. There’s a way to figure this out if we can pass the emotional control and begin to figure stuff out on a much deeper level; which most people, unfortunately right now, are not willing to do. But you could still argue they share the exact same value.

It brings us right back to a conversation September and I are having all the time about Emotional Sobriety. I still swear it’s the superpower of the next century.

The work you’re doing Jeff, is elevating and raising awareness. That’s why it’s so complimentary incidentally, that you’re raising awareness inside of people as well as companies and organizations, of what they value.

One of the core principles in the TMIC work as well is Emotional Sobriety. It’s all well and good to know what your value systems are as you’re pointing out, but if you don’t have any emotional sobriety you’re still going to be a walking reaction in defense of your values.

That’s not only exactly right, but you said it perfectly.

I would add that whenever I understand what my values are that can catapult me to begin to understand my emotional sobriety and recognize, “What is it that has been triggering this emotion? Who am I really? Why am I acting so incongruously from what I really believe? What is the stimulus? What is the “thing” that’s going on? What is this stuff that has been controlling me?”. It’s one thing to recognize what the emotion is, but it’s another thing to come back and say, “This is who I really am. I want to stop reacting from the emotion and I want to start acting from the value.”.

Immediately I think of situations where there are children being abused in homes, or abusive relationships. Let’s take abusive relationships for example. Let’s say the man is saying, “I love you so much. That’s why I hit you.” It’s this weird, twisted thing. The values are there but the emotional sobriety is missing.

That’s exactly right. Let’s take it one step further, Chad. In that exact situation, let’s look at the impact it has on the child as the child grows up. What does the child value in that situation? Sometimes, the kid comes out and they value independence. “I want nothing to do with anybody. I’m going to do my own thing. I know how people can screw you over.”

Sometimes a kid comes out as an adult and values a strong family. “I will never ever put anybody in a situation like that again. I’m going to do the exact opposite of what I grew up in. I am going to be able to have peace, love, charity, and generosity.”

The kid grows up and comes out of it with, “I’m going to value strength. I will never ever be weak where anybody can slap me around again because I will always be able to defend myself”.

There are all these different ways behaviors impact value, how it impacts me, and how it manifests in my own behavior. Am I saying that where it makes sense?

Yeah, absolutely. It also goes to the point that they don’t have emotional sobriety, the values are agnostic; they aren’t inherently positive or negative.

We as human beings tend to overly fixate and become myopically focused on how they manifest. I call it the “topics”. Where we’re constantly rearranging the furniture of our life, so to speak, to try to solve the “topics”. If we could get these two things, the Values Conversation and my emotional sobriety around them, so much would get handled.

This is incidentally one of the things we should be teaching in schools because we’re spending so much time on these subjects to play this old game. There are people even questioning the value of formal education, college, university, and all that stuff because everything’s changing.

As a total sidebar but related, there’s a conversation inside the world of Silicon Valley and big tech that is projecting that by 2030 as much as 40% of the jobs we currently have (mostly white collar jobs that constitutes our economy) such a legal, accounting, engineering, computer sciences, etc. will be done by AI.

I was reading an article, I don’t want to get the magazine or article wrong, but they asked the question, “Is there even value in learning how to become a computer programmer anymore?”. This has been the heart of the IT world for 30 years and they’re saying, “Do we even need them?”.

I’ve been saying from a TMIC perspective for a while that this is going to create a mental health crisis the likes of which we are not prepared for, because people don’t know what they value and they have no emotional sobriety to handle what’s about to come. This work is so critical.

September, it looks like you want to jump in on that.

There’s also the aspect that when people are in a profession they identify with that profession. Their identity will be stripped from them, which creates a whole other chain reaction of stuff.

September, what you said is so crucial, let me piggyback on that and put together what you two said. Chad, whenever I understand what I value and who I am from my values, I have created and understood a level of emotional sobriety. My identity is controlled by me. Not where I work. Not what my profession is. Not what my family’s doing. Not what is perceived by the car, the house, or the whatever.

My identity is me. I understand who I am regardless of whether I am in this job, profession, or doing whatever.

It is another way of saying, “I’m no longer going to be the victim. I’m going to be the person who stands on my values and uses my emotional sobriety to control my life, my direction, what’s going on, I’m not going to be the victim of stuff that I can’t control. I’m going to focus on what I can control.”. Those are my values and what my emotional sobriety is.

You’re dead on. We talk about that all the time. The work we do in TMIC, I look at it very much like a prism because you can turn it in many different ways, but it all goes to the same center. There are just different ways to access it, but it’s the same body of work.

One of the ways to think about it is that our objective is to create a context to help human beings become more aware of who they are, why they are, and BE at the center and the source of taking their own full responsibility.

I say all the time that people don’t want freedom; think they do, they say they do, but what they really want is a license. They want to be able to do whatever they want without the responsibility that comes with it.


People don’t want freedom. They think they do, they say they do. But what they want is a license to do whatever they want without the responsibility that comes with it.


True freedom is when you’re willing to step in and take full responsibility, and only in that moment you are no longer a victim.

But here’s the thing, the focus of where you’re looking is not outside yourself. It’s inside yourself. You’ve got to go inside yourself in order to no longer be a victim.

Too many people are trying to control other people, other circumstances, and other variables outside of themselves. It makes you more of a victim because you’re never going to succeed at that game. No one ever has and no one ever will.

The whole thing we’re up to here is helping you get reconnected to yourself, to others, and to nature. That is the core driver; that’s our vision for what we’re doing. The way we do it is by transforming minds and methods. It’s what we’re talking about here when we’re talking about values, and The Values Conversation, the work you’re doing with us Jeff, and the work you do with other organizations and individuals.

And then the work of Emotional Sobriety is to create a perfect one-two equation that will allow someone, whether you’re a leader in a company or want to do it for your own life, to no longer be a walking victim to everything going on in your life but actually you’ll be the driver of your life because you’ll know what you value and you’ll be able to engage with the world from a place of response and not reactivity.

That’s exactly right. Everything you said at the end about whether you’re responding or reacting is so important. We want people to stand on their own accountability, understanding, self-awareness, emotional sobriety, and the values that create the foundation upon which everything else is built. It doesn’t matter whether people recognize their value or not. It’s there. The values are there. The values are going to be affecting everything.


Whether you’re responding or whether you’re reacting is so important.


What we want to do is help you understand what  they are so it starts working for you. It was like September was talking about when she became aware of it; how that began to connect the dots, affect relationships, and began to do whatever.

If I were to rephrase that September, it started to create more emotional sobriety. That became part of the equation of your emotional sobriety, recognition, and understanding, even though you already had a great deal of emotional sobriety before you and I ever met. Everything you’re saying, Chad, is exactly right.

I’d like to take it a step further Jeff, and say the work we’ve been doing past the assessment, you’ve also helped me learn how I express those values. It creates an opportunity for me to say, “Does this align? Is that how I want to express it?”. There have been a few times where you’ve brought it to my awareness that I was expressing the value but I wasn’t expressing it in a way that it was being known or understood. It was being misconstrued because of the lack of emotional sobriety around a particular item.

There are so many facets to it.

That’s a great observation. It comes back to the power of the blind spot. You are extraordinarily intelligent and emotionally aware and yet I have different eyes or fresh eyes looking at what you’re talking about.

It is so important to have a support system around you. It is so important for people to recognize, the more I connect in a community where they can support me and I can support each other, I can begin to recognize the very stuff you’re talking about, September.

As we look to wrap up this episode, that’s a great segue into the work we’re doing inside of TMIC.

If this work intrigues you or maybe you don’t know enough about this work for it to intrigue you but you know in your own life that you’re not feeling high energy, full of joy, or fully in control of what’s going on in your life, and you’re not getting the outcomes you want in your business, your family, or your friendships, it all goes to the same root.

It’s this thing I’ve been saying for years. We tend to, as human beings, try to silo things like, this  is business, this is my family life, this is my friendship circle, and we’ve got all of these things organized.


Human beings are the same no matter the artificial context.


If you want to get to the source of your own personal power, join us over at TMIC. I know I don’t usually talk about things that are rooted in time like Thanksgiving, the holidays, or things like that because I don’t want to date it, but we have it every year, so I don’t really care. We’re recording this and Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up.

I know with an election year, at least in the United States, around the corner there’s going to be a lot of conversation, especially because people get together around holiday periods when they don’t normally see certain people all the time,  maybe it’s been a year or so, but there’s going to be a lot of conversation about politics and the things going on in our very crazy world.

Whether you’re reading this before this Thanksgiving, the next one, or ten years from now, it doesn’t really matter to me. The important thing is this: This is the type of work that can make Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any of those holidays a different experience.

If you’re sitting around the table and an argument is starting to break out over politics, world events, world issues, or something, try to steer the conversation, at least even in your own mind towards, “What do I value around this? The other person who has a different opinion about the circumstance or the topic, what do they value?”.

Jeff in closing, share a few words about grounding ourselves around the values and not the topics, we’ll discover we pretty much all value many similar things.

There aren’t that many values. I know there are a lot of ways to talk about it and rephrase it, but at the end of the day, people want to be seen. They want to be heard. We should be telling the truth. There are all of these sorts of things. If we can start to talk from values, we will avoid the arguments and move into a more constructive phase of, “What can we create?”; that’s what interests me as you’ve already told me.

Whenever you combine the understanding of The Values Conversation, and Emotional Sobriety back to what we were talking about earlier, putting it in the setting around the Thanksgiving table, arguments are going to happen. It’s guaranteed. We know it’s going to happen. Whether we’re talking about the conflict in Gaza or whether we’re talking about if it’s a live Christmas tree or a fake Christmas tree that you put in the house, some families are going to fight and argue about whatever else.

If I understand what I value and I understand my own emotional sobriety, I’m not going to be triggered, upset, or ready to fight the other person across the table. I’m realizing all they’re doing is telling me where they’re at in their own opinion or their own viewpoint. That doesn’t mean mine is less than. It doesn’t mean I have to defend myself. It doesn’t mean I have to attack you. It doesn’t mean I have to prove you’re wrong. It doesn’t mean any of that. All it means is you’re telling me what you’re thinking and where you’re at.

Since I know what I value, I know my own emotional sobriety, and I’m fully aware and comfortable in my own skin, I’m not going to react to you. This is going back to what you said earlier Chad, now I can respond to you. We can have an adult conversation, at least half of it unless you really want to fight about whether it’s a real Christmas tree or a fake Christmas tree.

One way or the other I can control what’s going on based on my values and my emotional sobriety where you can’t trigger me anymore. You’re not controlling me anymore. I’m not victimized by my own lack of emotional understanding and by your whatever. I’m more than fine with who I am. I’m more than fine with what you’re saying.

“Bring it on, Uncle Fred. Tell me more about how idiotic it is that people put real trees in houses, how they can burn the house down, and how it’s whatever. It’s okay because I love you anyway. Why? It’s because I love myself and I’m more than okay with who I am. I understand what I value and I understand who I am from those values. I understand my own emotional sobriety. Uncle Fred, I’m going to love you anyway, regardless of the plaid pants you’re wearing, the green and red socks you’re wearing, the shirt you’re wearing that fit you in a former life and you really shouldn’t be wearing anymore, and whatever else. I’m going to love you anyway because I’m okay with who I am first.”

Exactly. What a great way to wrap up this episode.

If any of you are interested in getting plugged into the Values Conversation and learning more about what we’re doing at TMIC to create empowered people around the world who are able to come together and work as a community to start to push things forward and have a transformative effect, go to or Until then, Jeff, thank you so much for your time and for sharing your wisdom and your experience with us. September, as always. We look forward to seeing all of you on the next episode of The Most Important Conversions. .


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