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Veritas Views: AITA

This weekly podcast comes to you from ⁠Veritas Psychology Partners⁠, ⁠Dr. Dan Kessler⁠ and ⁠Dr. Gayle MacBride⁠. Your host selects a conversation from the internet forums that neither psychologist has heard or read before, and they give their unrehearsed, unvarnished opinions--essentially answering the question, "just who is the a**hole here?" The host brings in feedback from internet commentors to round out the discussion, and we close out each episode with a bonus conversation about the random objects in each psychologist's office.

And if you'd like to schedule an appointment with either of our psychologists, then you can do so here, or contact us!

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What is that? (Listen to the end of the episode, after the credits, to find out!)

Transcript

Kelley Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychologists.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I'm doctor Gayle MacBride and today with me is my business partner and friend, doctor Daniel Kessler.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, and nice. Thank you for the introduction, Dr. MacBride. Looking forward to picking apart. Another one of these really interesting conundrums. Michael, don't you have? Something for us?

Host: Michael:

I do well, first of all, welcome both of you and then for all the newbies out there, if you don't know by now, what am I? The asshole is, in short, someone post the scenario and ask readers who is the asshole here. And that's what we're going to help determine. If you're new, you should also know. Stick around through the credits because there's a bonus conversation at the end that's always illuminating in some way. Neither Dan nor GAIL have read or seen this before. So let's go. So this one unfortunately has been removed, but I managed to do a screen grab.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

oh

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Why? You are our IT guy as well?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And you know a quick cautionary tale of why something once posted the Internet is there forever.

Host: Michael:

So true. So the headline for this one is, am I the asshole for telling my daughter that if she goes vegan, she will need to get a job to buy her own groceries? Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes. Oh, wait, sorry. There's more to it, isn't there? I'm sorry.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Always says be patient Dan.

Host: Michael:

Alright, so that's the post, says my daughter, who is 15, almost 16, went vegetarian about a year ago. Overall, it went well and didn't add much to the grocery list. The family already didn't eat much meat. She has been talking about going vegan for a while. And last time I got groceries, she asked me to pick up some stuff. Overall, it almost doubled the price of our grocery bill also. I found most of the food to be bad. Vegan cheese has to be the grossest. Thing I've ever. Tried OK to be.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

It is.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Fair. She's not wrong about that, that. 1.

Host: Michael:

She kept talking about it and I sat, sat her down. I told her she goes vegan and she will have to get her own job and pay for her groceries that we cannot afford to pay. Double the grocery bill and I am not going to replace things with alternatives that the family doesn't like. This resulted in an argument. And she is calling me a jerk. My ex-wife is on my asks about it and told her she can pay for extra grocery. If it's that big of an issue for her, she also thinks I'm being a jerk. So the question is, who is the asshole?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Here. Wow, this is. This is a really interesting one. You know, as parents, when we have minor children living at home, we are required to close and feed. And how's those children? So the real question is, are we required to feed them in the manner in which they are? Costume to be fed. Baby is there. Is there a line there?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And did this teenager cross it? Probably. I want to know how she's doubling the grocery bill. I didn't do this.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. So. So Full disclosure here, I eat mostly vegan. In in my personal life, just as an aside, like you can eat vegan, way cheaper than you can eat. Not vegan.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

This is this is my sense of things too, right?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. No, no, our, our, our grocery bill is a fraction of what it was when we ate meat and cheese. And other things like that. So it's, it's it's, it's not even that it's not that the daughter is necessarily vegan. I want to pull this away from that. It's that the daughter is asking for foods that are.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Take a watch. Very expensive, yes. And maybe not. Necessary to maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And I would argue that that that, that the fake man, by the way, as someone who's tried all of the fake vegan cheese, it's all shitty. And I apologize to any of anyone who works for offering. I have not tasted vegan cheese yet that made me go. Damn, I want more of this vegan cheese and I eat it in an almost entirely. A vegan diet, but you can do really healthy food, vegan and. And not have it break the bank. So I argue with the premise of this one.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Maybe that's why it was taken down, because the premise is a little bit difficult, which is this shouldn't be doubling a grocery bill. It does make me wonder how many people are in the household and I guess I would be talking to the. Parent, I'm assuming it's a. Father. But I guess I'm being sort of gender biased here because he references an ex-wife and I don't really know. I don't. Know that our.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Poster revealed their gender doesn't really matter. I just would want to speak with that. Maybe that parent. Maybe that's a better way to phrase it, but. You know what, like, I want to understand a bit more about what the asks are and what looks different now than it did last year when she was eating mostly vegetarian.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right. And I as as a parent like my own kids went through, you know, wanting different dietary things back when we did eat meat, our our oldest be vegetarian, great support that I think. I think that the question here from what I that I'd like to approach this to more is like is it reasonable for me to say no. To buying very, very expensive food when I can feed my child for less expensively. That that's the question I want to answer here instead of the question they're asking, which is, I forget now, am I the asshole for not wanting to give her vegan food, right?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Essentially, is what they're looking down to, but I think your interpretation of the question is really the question at hand, which is, am I an asshole for not wanting to buy my child? The very expensive food that they're asking for, and whether or not it's vegan? It doesn't matter. I mean, it could be rib eye and shrimp and crab like doesn't. Doesn't really matter if it's a high price item.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And it adds. Too much to your grocery bill? Are you an asshole for telling your child? No.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right. This is one of those areas that people get caught in the the like the I want to be vegan. No, you're not going to be vegan and they get caught in this battle about a thing that doesn't need to be a battle. I am happy to support you're being vegan. Let's look into recipes. Let's look into how to cook really good food together. That will meet your dietary needs and not break the bank. What a great opportunity for learning on everyone's part here instead of people getting dug in and like yo, you have to do it this way. No, I'm doing it wrong. Like that's the part that bothers me here is like, let's have a good conversation about how to do how to do it correctly.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And maybe there are some limits to where, OK, our grocery budget is this take any of the animal products that you would have consumed out of that now your portion of the budget, is that can we buy your vegan food on my budget, I mean budgets concern fine and is there then some reasonableness to say to the child OK, anything above and beyond that? Would you please contribute to that? Especially if this 16 year old has a job that might be that might be OK. But to redline it, I'm concerned. I think that that is worrisome for sure.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Well, like so many things in parenting, this is an opportunity for a teaching moment for the child and an opportunity for a learning moment for the parent. Our kids can teach us a lot, too, right? So what a great opportunity that everyone is throwing in the shedder.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

There to work together on doing this in a way that makes the most sense. Again, what we're always looking for in any relationship is how do we get everyone's needs met? And have everyone be happy.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yes, but of course we are not dark chocolate, so perhaps we can't actually catch that cold. But we can certainly get a little closer by starting from a place of admiration and respect and creating a plan that is workable for the family. It's fascinating to me, though, that this parent is not. Is not reacting to the additional work that it might require to make a dish vegan versus not vegan. They're they're they're reacting to the to the cost, and so it does make me wonder what this budget is looking like for this family.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Problematic, yeah. Yeah, I want to do a deeper dive into the relationship in general, like how how does this parent and child, what's the dynamics in this parent and child? How do they usually interact when they have conflict? Yeah. Because again, we're always trying to figure out how to resolve conflict and how to teach our kids how to resolve conflict. And. And this is a. Great chance here. I gotta say, like I made I fed 20 people with a pot of vegan chili just yesterday and it cost $5, I said.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

20 people with $5 worth of worth of food it vegan food is not necessarily expensive. We actually lose that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I will attest that it was delicious, so.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh yeah, $5 five dollars.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I did it.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, it's not necessarily now if you're buying, but again so like if your child let's let's move this away from this and say if let's say the child said I will only eat, you know, honey crisp apples and you have to buy me honey crisp apple.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

$5.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

As a parent, I'd be like you know what? Right now the ambrosias are like $0.99 at the convenience store, I guess. Say they're a loss leader, and the honeycrisps are $3. I will happily buy you apples. I want you to eat fruit, but I'm not spending the three. I'm not buying the $3 a pound apples you can do just fine on the dollar. A pound apples that are, I think, quite the and maybe they're not as good as the honey.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

MHM.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That's good. At 3 bucks a pound. But I think that's, I think as parents, we can set those limits and teach our kids how to spend well.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And I think like you were saying earlier, it's really an opportunity to have a conversation with this parent and child about how they communicate on all kinds of things. This may even just be a political difference that they have, right. This child is maybe embracing veganism and perhaps as parent doesn't and has some other worries, latent worries that they haven't brought to the surface. Very often in veganism, the concern is where are you going to get your protein and are you going to get all of your dietary needs, meds and these kinds of things. So now we have an opportunity for maybe the child to educate the parent. What this looks like in reality versus the fears and explore those together, but we're opening up lots of channels of communication around budget, around health, around food, around politics, which could really deepen their relationships. I find that at 16 or in those mid to later teenage years, you're really developing a person with some really complex world. Ideas. And they come home, I think, and sort of startle you sometimes about the way they think about things because you're no longer the sole source of that information going. In and what a cool way to get to know your child is to explore what they've been learning out there and why they think it to be true. Whether or not you agree it doesn't matter.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Sure, sure. Why do you want to eat vegan? What's going on? Is this a a health thing? Is it a moral thing related to get animals? Is this A is an environmental issue? Like what is what's driving this? And again, the great opportunity for critical thinking. I I'm going to say like, sorry to who the question the parent is asking am I the asshole for, for for the you're. You're not an asshole for saying. I think you're not an asshole for saying for saying no, but it's not about the vegan food, it's about. You're now that you're an asshole for saying I'm not going to spend a bazillion dollars on this. I think you're going to, like, kind of an asshole for, like, not having a conversation and not not not opening this up for an opportunity to explore and just being so absolutist and not like. Aging.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right. I would agree. And I you know I wanted to say everybody sucks here because.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

So.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I think this teenager is asking for expensive food like sometimes think that teenagers don't really comprehend that. Again, I think I would put that back on the parent. Let's go shopping. Let's look at the grocery store and look at the prices and have that conversation. So I have a hard time really blaming the teenager or saying the teenager truly sucks. But I do think the parents poster sucks. Because they're missing some golden opportunities that wouldn't have made this like you said earlier, I think you really did a nice job and just it would make it teachable. And far more workable. It's not about the veganism.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right. And I'm going to say not not an ask. Whole, but gosh, you missed an opportunity and the same thing with the kid, not an asshole, but only because, like, teenagers are by definition very egocentric and they don't see the world very well. And. And so I don't necessarily blame this teenager for being kind of a jerk, although I think they're being kind of a jerk by being so, like, absolutist. And everyone's getting caught up in there like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Sure.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right. You up there my way kind of thing. So everyone's kind of being mildly a pain, but I'm not, like mad at any of them. I want to sit them down and say, yeah, that's a conversation about how to make this happen. And let's dispel some myths and rumors. And false beliefs about about some of this stuff, and let's talk about why.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, absolutely. And if necessary, let's bring your doctor in to talk about what any medical concerns might be. Again, depending on the gender of the child and what's going on with their bodies, they may need different nutritional requirements throughout their later teenage years. Just making sure all of those. Of our head.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

This is where I feel the need to say I am not a nutritionist. However, right one thing that vegan if you're to stick to strict vegan diet B12 is is the only like people often worry about protein, far less of an issue. We don't need most vegan diets do just fine and good balance vegan diets do just fine. On the protein front, but B12 does need to be either supplemented or or checked for. But the other piece to the I'm going to throw this in like like think about vegan diets. If you eat nothing but Oreo cookies and Coca-Cola, that's entirely vegan, yes.

Kelley Buttrick:

You know.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Fritos Oreos, Coca-Cola and McDonald's French fries. You are absolutely vegan, 100% so like the.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Surprise.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Vegan doesn't necessarily equal healthful, and I would want to make sure that that's again part of this. Like, how are you? How are you engaging in being in, in, in following a vegan diet is it is it Oreo cookies and coke or is it like, you know, sweet potato, black bean chili which is delicious personally and nutritious there you.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

They need Michelle.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Michael, what did what did the Internet say?

Host: Michael:

Yeah, I was just going to say with you guys both kind of weighing in. First of all, you asked earlier or I guess questioning the parent, the parent was the father, he did, he was asked a lot of clarifying questions in the comments and that's actually why this post was removed by the poster because an interesting thing happened. But. I'll get to that in a SEC. So anyway, that he he clarified that they were mostly vegetarian, eating at home. And so the step to veganism was the part that he was struggling with was the cost, and mainly because she was requiring certain snacks that were, you know, like that were vegan snacks and.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, we.

Host: Michael:

I hated it.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Don't require snacks.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, the potato chips are vegan.

Host: Michael:

Alternative cheeses.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I mean, tortilla chips are tortilla chips are vegan chips are vegan. If you were, if you. If you want to get.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Or apples and bananas just from a snack standpoint, what are we consuming baseball?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Well, yeah. But I mean if you. If you're going to indulge your child in the kind of snacks that teenagers often want. It's not a problem.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oreo.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

If you want them to have a healthy snack, even better. But I'm just like weighing in here. Like there's nothing if you're already buying potato chips. You. Want to change that? Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, we should probably let Michael finish. All right, I'll talk to you.

Host: Michael:

That's OK, you’re doing exactly what the Internet did is they like, they're like, what is the deal? What are these stats that this kid was like, what are the snacks the kid want?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

They wanted it were expensive.

Host: Michael:

He went on. He like he tried to explain a couple of different times that they had to specifically declare that they're vegan. And so there were certain brands that she was glamming on to that were really expensive. And then also like the vegan cheeses. Lots of nuts, which were more expensive than what he normally bought because she wanted like roasted and macadamia nuts. And some of these things that were more expensive. And then also the one that really killed them was the nut milks. He was like, this is outrageous. And she was drinking a lot of it and smoothies and all kinds. Of stuff so.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And he's not wrong. He's not wrong but, but again, this is what a great opportunity. You can make almond milk for.

Kelley Buttrick:

Right.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

About $0.15 a quart because almond milk is like 8 almonds for a quart of water. It's like I don't know exactly, but it's some outrageous amount of almond to water ratio so that like almond milk is incredibly cheap to make at home and I think this is an opportunity to argue back with the daughter like yes, I'll get you vegan snacks. But macadamia nuts are hella expensive, and peanuts are dirt cheap. Yeah.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, and people tried to point out a number of different things like that to him, which were kind of interesting to, to see those. I remember what the other thing was that he said I had one other kind of thought, but anyway, it doesn't matter. Ohh. And people point out like this was an opportunity. Like you both said about budgeting like. You could have said here's my budget. You know, let's look at how we can shop and let's go to the store and shop together. And anyway.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Absolutely. What a great opportunity that got missed here and it's not about the vegan, it's about the choices within the vegan.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It’s driving me crazy. We're also missing an opportunity to read nutrition label people. It doesn't need to say it on the bag as long or the box of the package as long as you read the ingredient list and butter.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

It's right there.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

If you eat a food that's not packaged, guess what? There's not so much a mystery there. It's just a banana. It's just. Put them out. We don't have to worry about what's in it. If we're not eating a lot of processed foods.

Host: Michael:

How are you supposed to know what's in the banana without packaging though.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Bananas are bananas are self packaged, you. Know. No need for packaging there. There's no, there's no need. No, I think this is a. This is one of those unfortunate situations where people get caught in there. Preconceived notion of what the argument is and don't step back and say what really is our disagreement here and so many missed opportunity.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And I have some empathy for this parent and says OK, I've got this grocery list for my teenager. I went. I bought all the things I really want to support my child and then holy crap at the register. Now this is twice as much and maybe not. I'm really, truly anticipating it, which then gets you locked into a perspective which is often what we're dealing with in our office. Which is that, oh holy crap moment. And now I'm just locked in into a particular way of seeing any issue, and now it becomes me versus you as opposed to ohh. Holy crap, I'm surprised by this. Let me bring that surprise home and have a conversation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It it. Too many teachable moments best.

Host: Michael:

So to answer your simple question, the Internet almost universally said you're not the asshole because of all of the things. But then what ended up happening is when you actually read the comments, they almost everybody who engaged with the original poster. Was like actually I've changed my mind. You are an asshole. And I would hate dealing with you.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Because of his, because of his clarifying comments down the road.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, just about every way that he interacted with somebody, there was so much attitude and snark that they were just like, you know what? fuck you.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

But you know that, but that that really underlies our both GAIL and my primary thesis here, which is that when Dad had the chance to handle this well, he handled it shitty.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And now hearing that, OK, fine. He's an asshole. But not, but not because he said no to expense. Food, but it sounds like he was just willing to shut down his kiddo without any conversation or working with them or doing this. So the I think the internet's convinced me on this one that that that go ahead, GAIL.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh, no, I'm. I'm going to disagree. I'm going to say he talks, but I'm not going to call him an asshole. I think on my slider meter. I'm. I'm maybe a little bit more. Until or do you think he sucks? By the way, though is throwing it off to his ex partner and saying buying you pay for it like. Check it out.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And the original question, if I remember correctly is is. Am I wrong for telling her she has to get or telling my child they have to? Get a job like.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, that was actually. It's like if you're going to do this, you need a.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I remember that.

Host: Michael:

Job to pay for this.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That's a bit of a. That's a bit of an extreme perspective to take, you know, and I.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, if you get a budget and she wants to go. There as her budget. Maybe she is a child.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I mean like I want to become a pilot. OK, you know that you want to pay for the your lessons. You should go get a job. I want to eat food. No, that's my responsibility as a parent. To provide you with food. Within reason and within limits and yeah, I'm just, I'm getting the more we talk about this guy, the more annoyed I'm getting with him. I'm sorry. Sorry, Dad, but you're kind of you kind of starting to shit me off.

Host: Michael:

You're not alone. That's entirely what the Internet seemed to find. Was like, you know, the more we engage with you, the less we are on your side and the more we think there's more going on.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

So maybe he's an asshole, but not for this.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Weird. I think it's so weird. The family is already mostly vegetarian, it just doesn't seem like it should have been that far a leap, nor such a surprise. So maybe he is an asshole. Maybe I'm coming around.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No. Yeah, yeah, me and the Internet are convincing you.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, that's scary. What the Internet. Can you do me much?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. What I'm what I'm surprised about is that people don't aren't, like assholes all over. Just often whenever you mention vegan people just shit all over the diet. Anyone who does it, that's like kind of preconceived notion of of the. Complete inflexibility and gosh my friend is vegan, therefore we can't do anything with them, and they're being so demanding and pushy and I, which is the stereotype which I do not adhere to, I think, but maybe my non vegan friends would disagree. So there you. Go.

Host: Michael:

No.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Thank you Internet for not shitting on. Well, veganism in general.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, I'll say I didn't see any comments like that. So it was actually kind of as somebody who is definitely more vegetarian or more vegan than not, I always kind of looked for those as well. I didn't see any comments, but thank you both for another riveting debate and a glimpse into the collective conscience of the Internet forums. Remember, morality is often shades of Gray, and not just black or white.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And thank you to the Internet because life is strange. You can't make this stuff up. We got to go there to find all of these great, great snippets and scenarios.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, and TuneIn after the credits, where I'm going to ask Doctor MacBride about something in her. This would be, yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hmm.

Host: Michael:

Please follow and share for our test views on any of the podcast platforms with your neighbors and friends. And like dance and stick around through the credits.

Kelley Buttrick:

You can follow Doctor Dan Kessler @drdankessler and Dr. Gayle MacBride @drgmacbride. Oh, and you can find them both at VeritasPP.com. Credits. Tickling the ivories, Matthew Redington. Art production and design bringing the show together with flair and finesse, Michelle Love. Recording and editing, turning chaos into something worth sharing, Michael MacBride. Intro/outro, I'm Kelley Buttrick a VO talent who just happens to be Doctor MacBride's cousin. Cats: CJ, Linus, Sadie and Griffin. Hosting by whomever lost the coin flip. Interruptions by all their children. The content of this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Listening to this podcast does not constitute a therapist client relationship. If you believe you may be experiencing a mental health issue, please seek the assistance of a qualified. Mental health professional if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 from anywhere in the US to be connected to crisis mental health services.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for listening. As promised, here's that bonus conversation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

So you've got this like magic wand in your office. What's that about? Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

The one from the dollar store.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, that one.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

A little wand. It's meant for, you know, a child's Princess party or something like that. That's fit. I mean personality.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes, yes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It was a gift from a friend and a colleague years ago. She was sort of joking that in mental health, sometimes we just need a magic wand to help people feel better. Right? And I started incorporating it into the question that I asked most of my new clients, which is if I had a medium power magic wand, because as you can see, my magic wand is from the dollar store. It's not very high power. It only changes you, right? It does. Doesn't bring you love or money. What would change if you felt better? And so it's a great starting place for their conversation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I love that question. I love that. I love that question and medium power magic wand.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, you have to be like medium power.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That's great. All right, well. We're going to come back again next week with. Another one right?

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Thanks so much for tuning in. Like Dan said, TuneIn next week for another AM. I the asshole, debate.

Kelley Buttrick:

We love hearing from you, so please review us on Apple, Spotify or well, wherever you're listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please review, like, and follow. Also give it a share. That helps us reach more listeners.

Transcript

Kelley Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychology.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hi. I'm doctor Gayle MacBride and I'm really excited to be doing another one of these with Doctor Daniel Kessler.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

As am I. So Michael, you've got a scenario for Doctor MacBride and I to pick apart. Let's, let's. Go.

Host: Michael:

Let's do it. First of all though.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Getting rolling. Actually, I just want and they're up. I'm so excited. We've done enough of these now that if you're listening and maybe you're new, you can binge a whole bunch of these all along. I love getting enough episodes of the podcast on, you know, kind of rolling so that I can just start burning through them. We're there. Dan, this is.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. What do you have? We are officially binge worthy now.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I think we're doing.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Pretty great. All right, what do we have, Michael? What do we have out there right now, 1085?

Host: Michael:

Well, yeah. Well, this is our.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

This week, but we won't air this one for a while. Yet I was.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Sure.

Host: Michael:

Going to say, I think this is actually #14.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

All right, excellent. So if you're listening to this, we have thirteen others. Get out there and listen.

Host: Michael:

If well, first of all, for anybody who, this is their first episode and they're like, what the hell is this? You might not know. What am I, an asshole is. And the simple explanation is a poster out there asks the question and simply says who is the asshole here? That's we're going to help determine if you're new. Also stick around through the credits. There's always a bonus conversation. But for now, neither Dan nor Gayle have heard this or read this before, and what's his?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So I will just interject and say if you're an experienced listener, you might all say what the hell is this? But hopefully the answer is I'm using and something that I want to return.

Host: Michael:

So this post did a really good job, so some of the “am I the asshole” posts do a wonderful job of both embodying what the exact question is and also being attention grabbing in the title.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Excellent.

Host: Michael:

And this was one of those that, like it seems absurd, but it made me laugh. But it definitely caught my attention. So that's why that's why it's our topic for today, which is a my battle for telling my mom and dad that they have to get their noses pierced if they want to see my. Daughter again. What?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You know, I often immediately jump in with an answer, and this time I'm just going to be like I need more information.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

This is like.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

This is one of those. Now this is one of those ones where they, like, ask a really outrageous question. But then when you actually look at it like, oh, that's not. So crazy or?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I hope so. So Michael, enlighten us, please dealing the headline driving picture.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. So there's a fair amount of there's a fair amount of content here. So I'll get through it as quick. I can, but my husband I traveled to Mexico to visit with this family. I am an American citizen. My mom and dad are not my mom and dad. Got my daughters, got my daughter's earrings for her birthday. My daughters ears are not pierced. She is only one year old. I told them that I would save them for her until. She was old. Enough to get her ears pierced. We left my daughter with my parents while we went to go meet up with some friends.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh, I hear I know what's coming.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Ohh no ohh no it. Got worse in my head. Like I know where this is going. Oh.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Grandma and Grandpa Pierce in those years, aren't they don't, by the way, don't do that. Don't do that. Don't do that. No. Yeah, we can. But why? We already know. But Grandma and Grandpa are being jerks. All right, continue, Michael.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Ohh alright. Please just let me go finish but ohh. Should that's the format of the show.

Host: Michael:

When we went back to pick up my daughter, my mom. Showed us that they didn't, that we didn't. Need to wait because they had already taken her to get her yours pierced as you determined. Yeah, I got my daughter and drag my.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes.

Host: Michael:

Been out of there before he lost his shit. We went back to our hotel. I am furious. My husband said that my parents are not allowed to spend time with my daughter alone again. Ever. I went further. I said I would not be bringing her or any other kids we might have down to Mexico to see my parents. We checked out three days early and went home on our way home. My parents were calling to see when we were coming over. Ignored all the calls and texts until we were back home in Phoenix. We took a couple of days to think things over and pull down. I finally called. And I asked them not to speak until I was done talking. I told them that my husband I are upset for them getting my baby's ears cursed without a permission. I told them that we want to come back home, but probably wouldn't be visiting for a while. They said. My sister and I both had ears pierced when we were babies and it didn't harm us, so they didn't see what the problem was. I said they're not changing their minds. They started getting everybody involved, including my grandmother, to call me saying I was being ridiculous. I talked with my husband we came up with a problem of compromise. We agreed that we would resume visits, but not alone time as long as they got their noses pierced. They both said we were being stupid and they're. Not going to do. I said no problem and hang up. So who's the asshole here?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

My gosh. Wow.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

For fuck’s sake. Oh my God.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

This is bad. You do not do this kind of thing without parental permission. I can't even imagine the place that they went unless they did the piercing on their own.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I. I'm just.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Is equally terrible, like. How can you do that without parental consent?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, I mean well it I suspect if it was in, if it was in Mexico, rules are are often not. I know I don't know about your piercings. I've never pierced anything. I mean maybe, but we're not going to go there right now. I. I know that certainly pharmacies you can buy anything in Mexico and I suspect that there may not be as many rules around what you are not allowed to do in a piercing place of Grandma and Grandpa. Bring a kid in. But I don't know. I've never pierced anything in.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I've I've never tried the pierce anything in in Mexico. I do have piercings, but I my memory is. I needed the parents permission because I was a minor. But that being said, I mean, OK, so aside like you have parents that have said no, we don't want this. Whatever this is for their child and grandma and Grandpa have decided to.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Mexico. No, no.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Even armed with that information, go ahead and act. Opposite to that, and essentially attempts to get forgiveness because they couldn't get permission. I'm sure there are cultural aspects here that we're going to under appreciate because I don't. I've never been fully immersed in the Mexican culture, but I do think that was a wrong decision, flat out wrong and the justification that we did it when you were young. No harm, no. Well, is not rationale. That is not something that.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I mean, that's clearly ridiculous. But I'm also like, like, come on, like, I'm a little annoyed at everyone here. Like, this is your solution. I mean, we're not going to bring the kids around you anymore. We're not going to. And you have to get your nose pierced first. Like, I'm going to like, I'm going to, like, violate.

Host: Michael:

Oh, there's somebody layers.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Your bodily autonomy and demand that you do this, this, this thing that you don't want to do because you did to my kid like there are ways of resolving this that are better than that and that would just.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Ohh I totally agree.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like, come on, mom. Is that mom? Who did that? Or dad who? Said that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Mom.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

But Michael's nodding mom.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Like just nodding things. Yeah. No, it's mom. Well, you know, husband came to it together, but I agree. That feels like a 5 year old solution to a problem here. We you're not going to say if you do that, that that is not reasonable.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I'm just like like. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean clearly. So I mean, clearly, grandma and Grandpa are way out of line doing this and regardless of their reasoning. I mean, I don't care what their reason is that, that the reason is well, you let me do it or you did. Like, I don't care. I don't care. I don't. I don't care. What their reasoning is they're out of line. Yes. Period.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And I think what's asking them to get the nose pierced really just made a bad. Situation worse. Not what we do.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, yeah, I mean. Well, the other the other piece here is that there's is that I am angry at these at these grandparents. I'm really angry at them. And if they were my kids grandparents, I would be furious with them for doing this and I would still want my children to have grandparents in their lives unless there's some big. Other thing that makes them not appropriate and I don't know that I dropped them off at their house for the weekend. At least not until I was really clear that we'd established, reestablished trust. But there’s I don't want. I think losing this relationship isn't to health necessarily a good thing either.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Now we've got so much black and white thinking going on here, it's almost as if they are saying, you know, we're just never going to leave her alone. Look, she's not going to be this age, I presume. I don't remember. Michael, if you said how old this child was. But it sounds like one or younger probably.

Host: Michael:

One, are you hungry?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And so like for a really long time. You know, if you have older children, they can start to speak for themselves. Like, this dynamic is going to change. Let's not get to black and white about this. So and again, like peers, who knows or I'm not going to visit again. I mean this is black and white thinking just all over the place and it's not helpful. I totally respect though if the parents say hey.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes, yes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You broke our trust and therefore you will not be the caretakers in charge of my child. Killed until such other time as we've reestablished this relationship and because you can't reestablish it if you're not visiting and working on it. So you effectively cut off any ability to rebuild and repair.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right. And that's and that's that's the unfortunate part here. Like again, unless parents have been really egregious about things in the past, I don't. I don't want my, I mean, my kids, grandparents to not be part of their life if they could be a really positive influence on them. And the more the more people who love their kids and. And do good by them. Like the better, right? Yeah. And if we're going to assume that the grandparents are not toxic. Yeah, they did something pretty awful. Let's not. Let's not. I mean, it's that it's not quite a other than that, Mrs. Lincoln. How was the play situation? But it's pretty shitty what they did.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It is 100%.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And it's a, it's a real frustration, but I've certainly seen this tension before in couples, and I'm sure, Gayle, you have too, where like Grandma and Grandpa are, like, we raised you. And we clearly did an OK job. So why are you telling us we can't do what we used to do? Cuz she's different now, grandma, like and no, you have to do it this way. And I understand that you don't like it. And that's not what you did. We're not. It's not an indictment of you as parents. This is the way we do it now. Yes, we don't. Whatever this comes up a lot. Around spanking kids, you know, for misbehaving.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I do find that grandma and sometimes really have a hard time accepting that backseat role that they, you know, because they do feel like, well, I've been through it. I've done it. So therefore, you know, just trust me, it's fine. That, you know, we also underappreciate those, there's another parent involved that they didn't raise. They had nothing to do with, and times have changed. I mean I'm, I used to say to clients, you know, you need to be careful about the parenting advice that you receive and from whom you receive it. If they haven't had a baby in the last five years, you might want to think very critically about what information they're giving you because. I was astounded in the 2 1/2 years between my children. Even then, how much things had changed and. I thought I had it and. Build and there were things that were different. Car seats, in particular those recommendations changed so quickly, and maybe my kids just sat a bridge to that. But I was surprised and it became a point of just encouraging and empowering parents to say I don't have to take my parents advice. I don't even have to take my older siblings advice on how to parent. Because you know these these things that we want to consider for our children can change just that quickly.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. And if there's any area where people feel comfortable giving unsolicited. The advice it's parenting like everyone because everyone like like thinks well, I was a parent and I'm I didn't I you know I so I must have been good at it and I so the feedback I've got it is going to be right and that's not.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I will go so far as to say it's not even. I mean, yes, implicit advice, but also just criticism, right? And it's still like a baby name episode we were talking about that, you know, a few weeks back like you do you feel the right to weigh in here?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And a we didn't ask you and B when when you did stick your nose and we told you no and you did it anyway.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The other piece here is because I tell you I want to do it differently. You did does not mean that. I'm saying you're a bad parent or does not mean saying that I that that I'm. I'm. I'm. I'm saying you didn't do a good job we can disagree reasonably rationally kindly with with and not it's not like the end of the world if I disagree with my parents. About although like I couldn't really do that now parents aren't aren't with me anymore, but like if they were, I like when I did disagree with my mother. May her memory be her. Saying when I did disagree with my mother, like sometimes that was taken as a personal affront and I hope I'm better when I'm a grandparent. One day I hope I'm better at getting the feedback that my kids will undoubtedly give me, that I'm doing it wrong and I'm like Oh no, I'd and I could hear myself. I could even hear myself going. Well, that's the way I raised you so. It must have been right, like, oh, shit.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

The option.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

If you're listening, kids, remind me. Of this, when I act. Dickish years down the road and tell you that. Yeah, I did it right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, yeah. Well, and I've certainly disagreed with my parents and. And they've been a bit insistent and. Quite frankly, I. The response can't be a black and white, no. As you said, it's always best if there are more people around to love the kids. So maybe you adjust at what points you interact with someone to make it more comfortable. And workable, that's what we want at the end of the day, we don't want to just arbitrarily cut people out of someones life. And unless there's a real toxic toxicity to the relationship. Necessitates that that is an action of necessity.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And that certainly can happen, but that's but that's I and we're assuming here that that's not the case that, that these parents aren't toxic outside of this piece. And really we're talking about here is is I want you to respect my decisions around my parenting and you may not agree but it's still your job to follow. What I'm saying, because I'm we're the parents.

Host: Michael:

Let let me jump in really quick and build on what you just said then because that was something there was a a really lengthy in depth side conversation. In the comments, which are often my favorite, things like, you know, usually the usually the best joke is not the joke, it's in the comments. But in this case, like one of the side conversations was OK like the most glaring problem with the earring thing, as you said not to. And the grandparent did it and you will forever have a lasting memory of this thing.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right. Oh yes.

Host: Michael:

It's a permanent choice, obviously. You could let the holes close or whatever, but they said, OK, so let's walk it back. Like, what could your grant, what could your parents do like? OK, what if they let them have sugar and you said not to have sugar. And you know what? If you know, where is the line essentially where it. Problem. Some things are forgivable. Some things are not. You know, if you, if you had to say where that line is, what is that, you know, where is the grandparents? Where's the grandparents fund? You know, their ability to not be a parent and just kind.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh, that's a big question.

Host: Michael:

Of yeah, yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Let me.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's a good question, cause my own mother will feed my children cookies before a meal. It just drives me. Freaking wall. But you know what she will say, but I'm allowed to be grandma. And I think she's on the correct side of the line for it. I don't love it. Shouldn't do it.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I was talking to this, this, this fellow adult who is a grandfather who is taking care of like 4. I forget the age of the kid. Four years old. The grandpa. Can I have such and such a candy? And he's like, no, you can't do that. Guess. And then he went. Wait, I'm grandpa now. Absolutely you can. And I went and got. The candy like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, that's fantastic. Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like, I mean I think it's I think we need to recognize that there is at least within within my cultural experience American cultural experience like there is some value to the, the grandparents spoiling the grandchild and the number of times the parents that people say like where were these people when I was being raised these first time. Super nice. Indulgent. Like where were you when I was growing up? When I like. You wouldn't have done any of this shit for me. Like, why you being so cool to my kid? And. And that's part of being a grandparent is is the opportunity to spoil your grandkids.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

So like there are going to be these clashes hopefully about things that are not so boundary violations as this one.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. Well, and I think the line is fuzzy at best. I have clients who have said, you know, I've let my I've had my parents take care of my kids. They don't put them on the nap schedule. They don't they or they have naps them when I don't want them. To nap or. You know those kinds of things they have gotten to the point where you know, I can't let my parent watch my child. Anymore because they're not respecting my wishes and I think the line is fuzzy because it's different for each of us. You know, people have definitive views around whether or not you smoke around their child or even have smoked in your car and then transport that child in your car at clients being really particular about that.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. And what a hard and. Well, by the way, I think everyone shitty here. I also want to be aware that the that that it's really hard to make that transition like I've heard. Would say to their children about their grandchildren, but they're like, hey, don't tell me what to do with your kid. I wipe your shit like I don't need you to tell me that I can't do this when I'm the parent here or I'm the grandparent here. And there is a reality to how challenging it is to give up that role of being able to make all the decisions. Because now you've gotta acquiesce to your child's adult child's desire around their child. And that's a tough transition for a lot of. Grandparents to make.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

In. Like oh, you. Look like you have something you want to add or.

Host: Michael:

Say, well, I was going to say Dan very slowly offered his judgment, which is everybody stuck there. So where?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, I heard that. I heard that.

Host: Michael:

Are you at? Gayle.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, everybody sucks here. I really am upset at the grandparents and I think that was probably because I'm not a grandparent, but I'm a parent. And I could see. How quickly we slide into making decisions for the child that I wouldn't want to have to have made. So I was really pretty annoyed at the parents that the grandparents first. But I really liked. And Dan, you really hit it on. Head they violated the child's body autonomy by getting her ears pierced against the parents wishes, and now the parents are doing this tip for tat thing by coming back and saying to their parents. Now you need to Pierce your nose. I'm going to push you on your body autonomy and I'm going to hold that hostage so that if you want a relationship with your grandchild. And I don't like that either. There’s no world in which we can have someone to do something with their body in a quid pro quo kind of way that's actually going to make this any better. No one's going to feel good with that solution. And that's what makes you know what I might even go further. Not everybody sucks here. Everyone here are shitty.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, I.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Either and then they send I'm pulling. Everyone's an asshole here.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, everyone's pretty shitty here. Everyone missed the opportunity to be respectful to someone else. Everyone missed the opportunity for a grown up. I say it's over and over again. Have a asshole grown up conversation. Mom. I am really angry at you for doing this. You violated like my wishes as a parent, and this is not OK with me. I need to know that I can trust you before you can be around my child and the parent grandparents. Like, yeah, we screwed up big time. We totally like everyone should be doing this and like not not this kind of like. Well, you have to do this and I'll do that. No, I have the right to because I did it parents. Even just getting caught up in their own shit and no one's trying to work it out in a way that makes everybody happy and brings the family together, everyone just trying to this family. Yeah. So you all suck. Except.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

For the kid?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Who probably has, you know, probably doesn't have earrings anymore. I'm guessing they took them out and they're they’ll heal over and give it her age. Probably won't remember anything about it because juvenile amnesia is present until about age 2. So fortunately there won't be any recollection. I believe. Is that still accurate? Yeah, I think it's accurate. Yeah. They just don't remember anything before that point.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You'll probably be. Fine. Yeah, you know, but wow. Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

May I have some questions about where? Her grandparents are.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, but wouldn't that be terrible too?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That would that would be.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

A huge loss would really suck. That would.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I mean, she could potentially be missing out on a huge part of not just her family, but her heritage, because now we've got, you know, people living in another country, and if they hold her from experiencing that they will, they will cut her off and to some extent from from her cultural.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. All right, Michael. Yeah. Yeah. So the Internet fell into three camps. They were. You're not the asshole, they, you know, was a violation of your trust. OK. The other one was you were the asshole for making an outrageous request. And then the third. And I would say the most compelling agrees with you that everybody's shitty here. Everybody's an asshole. And my favorite comment in the everybody sucks. Here was your request, which you believe to be an ultimatum and outrageous still gives them the choice that your daughter and you did not have. And I was like, wow, that's. Actually pretty insightful.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That. That's it. That, that that's really interesting. I do. You know, I sometimes think about this idea of what if and play it all the way through to its logical conclusion. What if the parents go? All right, that's worth it. And they show up with pierced noses now.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That is. What? Yeah, you someone you ever resolve the underlying, like? OK, well, we did it. So we'll just, we'll, we'll do something else and.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I'm crazy about 1 preacher, your loves like. Just we'll just.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Do what we need to do. Whenever we scrub, we'll do the punishment and we'll move. On like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right. Like. No, no, just that's just pretty ugly. So yeah.

Host: Michael:

So this other. Kind of long. Your post is in general about situations like this where it says there are so many times. These posts come about because just like you were saying, the parents and the grandparents shit heads over what's appropriate or not, and they always seem to follow this scheme of of you did this thing and now an off ultimatum. Now it happens, never resolving the issue. You need to close the loop and come back. So I was very glad to see that ultimately they said, you know, stick. Your guns about, you know, the line that you drew but don't require something equally ridiculous. You need to move forward from here, yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

We agree then with the Internet I at least I agree with the Internet on this one if that's if that was the primary response. I think that's I just hate seeing families torn apart unnecessarily and everyone, everyone is taking this family down a really ugly path. And there's just. Their opportunities to save this, so let's save this.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, I totally agree. Well, thanks for humoring me and going down this road. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and just kind of the topic kind of definitely caught my eye. Remember, though, morality is often shades of Gray and not just black and white as we, as we pointed out. In this episode.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And I gotta tell you, I am constantly. At the Internet and the strange scenarios that come about in this particular form and you just can't make this stuff up.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

So stay tuned for a special conversation after the credits, and also you should like and follow and subscribe and tell your friends because that matters.

Host: Michael:

Definitely. As Dan said, follow share like review, do all those things on any of the podcast platforms and definitely stick around through the. Credits. They're not too. Long and they're kind of funny. I like the credits, but.

Kelley Buttrick:

You can follow Doctor Dan Kessler @drdankessler and Dr. Gayle MacBride @drgmacbride. Oh, and you can find them both at VeritasPP.com. Credits. Tickling the ivories, Matthew Redington. Art production and design bringing the show together with flair and finesse, Michelle Love. Recording and editing, turning chaos into something worth sharing, Michael MacBride. Intro/outro, I'm Kelley Buttrick a VO talent who just happens to be Doctor MacBride's cousin. Cats: CJ, Linus, Sadie and Griffin. Hosting by whomever lost the coin flip. Interruptions by all their children. The content of this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Listening to this podcast does not constitute a therapist client relationship. If you believe you may be experiencing a mental health issue, please seek the assistance of a qualified. Mental health professional if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 from anywhere in the US to be connected to crisis mental health services.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for listening. As promised, here's that bonus conversation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Michael, how do you pick these? Like, how do you, how do you make the decisions on these like you know, I mean briefly, sure.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well qualifying request.

Host: Michael:

Briefly, it's important with me. I appreciate that and I'll try to stick to it. I scroll through them and I look for topics that kind of intrigue me and then usually they're disappointing. You know usually the headline is attention grabbing, click baity kind of stuff and then like the conversation doesn't really go anywhere, I will say. There are an awful lot of these that. They're posted by miners like under 18, and I almost universally discount those because I don't know. I remember being a minor and I was dumb and so like the. Questions. They asked, I think, kind of frivolous and I don't know, maybe I shouldn't do that but.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Well, no, I think I also think there's there'll be a consent issue here. I mean, if an adult post something online, they know they're broadcasting to the world and I wouldn't feel comfortable if there was one for a minor. I'm moving forward with it. So I think you're right there, Michael.

Host: Michael:

I like your explanation better than mine. I'm going to go with that from now on instead of just discounting the. Concerns of my.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, I think that that I'm glad. To be able to.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Really clear. He does not discount the millions of minors that. Live in his household. That's for that, but online, I do think it's a consent issue.

Host: Michael:

I agree. Yeah, but no, usually, you know, I'm looking for something that I think you guys can sink your teeth into. And, you know, I know a little bit about each of you. And so sometimes I find something that I go like. Oh, I wonder what that will bring out in the conversation. And it's kind of fun to see if you if you take that bait or not. Usually you do, which is good.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Hmm.

Host: Michael:

But you.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Know hey, learn.

Host: Michael:

And then, you know, sometimes it's just, you know, the. Ones that are. Are really hot online. You know they have lots of comments. I'll be drawn to those who will be like, well, there must be something that people are worth having. This conversation about so. I don't know.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

As well as. Any.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Well, thanks again, Michael. No, thanks again Michael for coming up with a really terrific and interesting question.

Host: Michael:

It's.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Better than the eenie miney moe option that he had you. Know when we first.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Now it now it would suck.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I do appreciate the time you put into selecting these because I'm sure you come up with them. And we. Just have to sit back and chat. Fantastic. I know there's some work that goes into it. Ahead of time, yeah.

Host: Michael:

Well, thanks everyone for tuning in. Tuning in next week for a wonderful am I the asshole debate.

Kelley Buttrick:

We love hearing from you, so please review us on Apple, Spotify or well, wherever you're listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please review, like, and follow. Also give it a share. That helps us reach more listeners.

What is that? (Listen to the end of the episode, after the credits, to find out!)

Transcript

Kelly Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychologists.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hi. I'm doctor Gayle MacBride and with me today is doctor Daniel Kessler. As I always say, you're with is matched by your intellect. No, all the way around your intellect is.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Either. I think the point is that they're both.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So probably order doesn't matter.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

They're both equal, which means that I'm either really funny and really smart, or the exact opposite on both, right?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You know you consistently make me laugh, so I'm going to go. Hi. And Alex? Really ready.

Host: Michael:

Alright, alright, alright well.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And Gayle, I'm, I'm. I'm looking forward to tackling another one of these really interesting queries. So Michael take us away.

Host: Michael:

Of course. Well, welcome both of you. First of all, and for any of the newbies out there, if you don't know, what am I? The asshole is, in short, someone posts a scenario and ask readers who's the asshole here. And that's we're going to help determine if you're new. Also remember, stick around or you should also know. Stick around through the credits because we always have a bonus conversation. That's kind of fun. Right now, neither Gayle nor Dan have read through or been prompted or know this in any way. So they're coming at this cold and they'll give you their insights. Let's roll. This is an international one, which is kind of fun, although the other ones, I guess, don't specifically specify they're from the United States, but they usually have indicators that they're probably US based. So.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, this is a good exercise then in us using our cultural competency. That's something that's really important for a psychologist to continue to be aware of what our limits are in those cultural competencies, in today's culturally competent. Possible due to our just our. Standard of ethics, so bring it on. Michael, thank you.

Host: Michael:

I like it. I like it so the headline is, am I the asshole for telling my disabled friend that not everything can be disabled friendly, which is poorly worded, but I think you'll understand what you mean. So this is the rest of it. The poster is 25 male and he's taking his friends.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. OK.

Host: Michael:

Two men, two female, same age range, 24 to 27 around New Zealand, where he lives. One of them female, 27 is in a wheelchair and is a big disabled rights advocate, won't say her name, but she has a following on TikTok. Instead. She's made her whole OK blah blah. I'm going to skip over that part plan this three-week trip with activities that are disabled friendly. Absolutely fine. We all have wine tastings, walks, boat cruises, etcetera. With one exception. Three of us wanted to do a famous Alpine crossing. It's over 8 hours over rocky terrain and 1200 meters of elevation chain change, none of it wheelchair friendly. Before the trip, we cleared this with her and she was fine with it because there were smaller flat walks that she could do with her other friend who had no interest on the hike. But she changed her mind while were actually prepping on that day and wanted to do the full crossing with us. We tried to gently talk her out of it. I've done it once before and I explained exactly how hard it is, but she spent the next 90 minutes grumbling. It's so unfair that it's not wheelchair accessible if it's a tourist attraction, it shouldn't be. Hardly any wheelchair access. I'm going to tell my followers to complain that it's discriminatory and we kept mumbling. Yep, while we. Packed and tried to keep her happy, but then she said it's not too hard to add a cable car to the top, and I sort of snapped and said it's literally a volcanic zone and a place of natural beauty. No one is adding a cable car. I fell up with and here is where I may be the asshole. I know it's your whole thing, but not everything can be wheelchair accessible. She just stared and everything kind of fell apart from there. So am I the asshole in this situation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I mean, so I'm going to not, I don't know that. And what's the gender of the original poster here? It's like the poster was male and the friend is female?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Male.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

OK, I don't know that he's having traveled with a disabled person for like many, many years now. We know that not everything is going to be disabled friendly and there are going to be some activities. Is that you can't. That can't be done. And it’s unfortunate. It’s really sad at the same time. It doesn't sound like he was terribly kind to his friend in his manner of responding, not necessarily so that he's wrong, but that doesn't sound like it was handled well to me.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I totally agree. I mean, when you find yourself at the point of snapping, you probably have. Other opportunities to communicate with empathy and compassion and grace before that, you know, we've spent 90 minutes ramping up. Both individuals have spent 90 minutes becoming angry and more entrenched in their particular positions, which by the way, are being fueled by that probably very universal experience of disappointment. Right. Disappointment on the on the female friends and because now she has changed her mind, she. Wants to go. Totally get it right. And all my friends are doing this and I'd like to be able to join them and she's not wrong, right? Without him because he lots of these things wouldn't have become wheelchair accessible. But she's absolutely right to advocate for that accessibility, whether or not it's going to get built doesn't mean that she can't advocate it or shouldn't advocate for it. And yet the male friend is becoming really entrenched in in his position and disappointment that you. Know he went. To some lengths to verify the itinerary and to make sure that people had fun things to do. And I think he's feeling really kind of let down because maybe he just even felt like he didn't do a good job and it starts to feel personal and he loses it. He snaps unfortunately and says. And that's really regrettable.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Now, to be clear, everything. That can be made accessible should. Absolutely. You know, even if it's, I mean and there are some places that that I've been and I've gone, they could have done something here like they could have made the success of all. And I don't know enough about this particular situation to see whether that whether this could have been made accessible or not. But that's really not the issue here. The issue here isn't whether or not it can be made accessible or whether the friend was being reasonable or the person's.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hmm.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Well, the issue is the unkind, really. Action that they had now. Yeah. I I'm. I'm going to. I'm going to for a moment presume that that that that his friend was reasonable. and what she was asking although I also don't know whether the type of solution she was proposing was feasible and may it may or may not be depending on other conflicting rules.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, and certainly not feasible for her to be able to go on this trip. I mean, all just it may have been stellar and absolutely what ended up. Thing, it's not going to work for this particular trip. It's not getting her any closer to that type.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Ah, this kind of sucks I don't like. It when we. When we agree so. Well, we need to, like find a a good point of disagreement to kind of get annoyed with each other.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

About right, which we can do and we can spur on that. But I think you know ultimately therapist and us, you know we do align really similarly we provide. But you know, strong cognitive, behavioral take on things where we really work with our clients, we're on relationships. Sometimes we're just going to respectfully agree and say, yeah, we would do it in our office. I will offer though, as a point of discussion, one of my favorite points of education for clients around this kind of emotion that the poster is experiencing and his friend too, which is Emily Nagoski's. Sleepy hedgehog, model of emotion management. I love this and I think the book has maybe been republished. So there are some tweaks in it. I have a version of it that that I just I love it and. Actually, I loved it so much when I read it. I then sat down with my then pre teenage boys and read this section. Now if anybody knows anything about Emily Nagoski's work and this is actually coming from her book, come as you are. I think I failed to mention that this is a book written by yeah, you've got it there on your on your table. This is the work of someone who is a is a sex educator, and that particular book deals with primarily female sex and sexuality. So she's really taking this lens. You think? Why would you read teenage or preteen boys an excerpt out of a book about female sex? Well, because what doctor Nagoski does in such a wonderful way is to talk about the experience of having an emotion. And she talks about it in a sleepy hedgehog because I think it's, you know, hedgehogs are kind of cute, but they got little spiky quills and you need to. Need to handle them appropriately and she talks about if you're having a feeling, why don't you think about it as a hedgehog that you find and in an inconvenient place? On your home, like the chair, you're about to sit in. So rather than sit on the hedgehog, you pick them up and you notice its name, right? Or if it's unnamed, you give it a name, and in this case, you name your emotion. Each of these, the poster and the friend would have benefited by just simply saying I feel right, and sometimes they're more than one feeling at a time. But I'm having this emotion. And then the second step is to figure out what is that feeling need. If you've been hurt or disappointed, how can you heal that loss? Three, what do you what was it? It's name. Sit. Sit with it. What does it need or what do you need for it? And then tell your partner and saying I feel X and what I need is Y. And your partner has the opportunity to turn towards you and help heal that that loss or that feeling. Right. So, you know, in the case of this particular poster, you'll feel really disappointed. I made plans that I thought would accommodate everyone. What I need from you is.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I can totally. I mean again, I see this happens a lot with these kinds of things where people get so entrenched. And I I'm going to rollback to every ROM com could be resolved by a good conversation minutes into it. You know here's an opportunity. I imagine that this that this friend got there.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And just. Was really disappointed by her inability to participate in something that it's going to be such an amazing and meaningful activity, and the original post strike could certainly soon then, well, you know, were thing back then we'd resolved this. We're going to be able to do this. It was going to be fun. You're going to have things to do and I'm feeling I could see them both feeling that deep sense of disappointment and sadness. and frustration and then, you know, you've been. Being for, for disability, for accessibility, for disabled, disabled folks, for many years, this is just going to bring back all of that pain of being left out of things over and over and over and over. Even if you haven't been able to get no disabled, folks get left out of things over and over and over again. And here's just another thing that everyone that. I'm being being excluded from that. I shouldn't be and it makes perfect sense. To me.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Actually, because you may not know what that hike looks like and you get there and go, Oh my God. This looks amazing. I don't want to miss this. You know what you have planned for me instead is really sort of second rate.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Yeah, it's.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Not that you know, and not that that that was done through harm or malice, just simply accessibility, right? And so, like you said, you're brought back to all that hurt and pain. The things that the rest of the able bodied world does without thinking about how someone without the ability to emulate on their own would be impacted by that.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

But with couple of thought, and anytime we're talking about people's feelings in couples, like it often comes up that that, you know, we don't necessarily, we're not necessarily reacting out of what happened just now we're reacting of what just happened just now and all the stuff leading up to the state. And so often when I'm working with couples, you know, we're trying to figure out is the hurt you're experiencing is the intensity of feeling your.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Enough.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I mean, today in eight out of 10, does that match what happened or is today really a three or four out of 10, but all that other shit that's happened to this date, like of men said and it kind of blows it up to and you're reacting like an 8 and then the partner is react is what the hell you're reacting like this I get that you're hurt like. and I'm not saying this is what's happening here at all, although it might be. But certainly we see that a lot where people are reacting out of previous hurts as much.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I mean.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So well said. Thank you because you know the most common thing a couple will say. Now again, I don't know that these these two people are necessarily romantically involved. Couple, but when we do see couples, one of the things that they say the most often is, man, we had the biggest disagreement over something. So stupid. Of course you did. But it's exactly what you just.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Thank.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Set.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like it’s just all the feelings being being being pulled up again and when that's happening, if we're able to recognize ourselves but also be able to recognize for the other person like they're reacting like it may seem unreasonable in this moment. But if we look at the entire history, look at this person's person's background history or our background. Together as a couple in case of a couple situations like their reaction actually makes quite a bit of sense and how do I how do I, you know, give some grace here and try to be accepting of how tough this is for them. I think both of them could have done a bit of that in this. I'm not saying they're assholes, by the way. I'm not saying they're assholes at all. OK, maybe the dude who posted this a little bit because he. Kind of lost his shit there, but in general like, it sounds like like, both of these people came from a genuine place. At least to start out with.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Absolutely.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

It wasn't negative. That wasn't unkind, did we? Just make a ruling early.

Host: Michael:

I think so. That's what I.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Maybe. Maybe. We bumped it a little bit. I, you know, and Dan, I again. I would agree with you that I don't think there are assholes here. I don't think anybody sucks per se. I think the end response was shitty and really requires a relationship repair now because.

Host: Michael:

Was going to ask you.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Of the way she presented that disagreement, that that shouldn't have been said that way. and hopefully they have a strong enough relationship that they can engage in that repair.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I would hope so, because he is and I think there are two places in which I think he he crossed the line certainly at the end with that harsh but you know going well you know they they couldn't possibly do that because of this and that and you don't need to explain to her what where it couldn't be done. You don't know this and my guess is that that was born out of some sense of defensiveness and. And one you know and that I don't think that was necessary or useful either.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, I found myself thinking the same thing when he was reacting to the suggestion. Like, how do you know? Are you a geoscientist that knows what can and cannot be done? I mean, I understand where he's coming from, but yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like I do, but it sounded more like defensiveness than it sounded like respectful. Kind discussion of the of the possibilities of installing handicapped. Accessibility.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I I would. Have named it almost mansplaining when we get mansplained as women very often it does explain some defensiveness, and I say this with my business partner and my husband on the line. We're all men, you know, men play, but they do, and that's how. That's how it's.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

It it had element, it certainly had that mansplaining elements to it, at least the way that you posted. What are the Internet say?

Host: Michael:

Yeah. So there, there are actually two comments I'm going to read in their entirety in a moment. One is actually a follow up from the poster, which you do.

Kelly Buttrick:

Really.

Host: Michael:

Often get. So I actually kind of appreciate. Yeah, kind of. And sometimes when they delete their account. And anyway, the one piece of information that I wanted to know that I don't see any information in there about is the ethnicity of the person, the disabled person. Like, I would love to know if she was a New Zealander.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

They drop and run.

Host: Michael:

As well, because obviously then. She would be well, she would really know about exactly what she's in for or, you know, because some of the conversation in the Internet conversation was assuming that she was American and entitled. And they packed a bunch of stuff on her and then coming to this other country and imposing her expectations from her country. On New Zealand I don't see anything to back that up and.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

The ethnicity of the person who was doing the hosting, either we sort of assume maybe he is a New Zealander, but maybe he's an American living abroad you don't know.

Host: Michael:

That's true. There were interesting side conversations about how you can't impose your country's perspective on another country like just because people went on about the US. National parks and how and good and bad, because this brought out some of the worst of the Internet, where people were like, it's nature. You're not supposed to mess with it and blah blah blah where other people were like, well, everybody should have access to the national parks.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like you know, I'm going to interrupt a plug here if you have a permanent disability, you can get a lifetime pass to that will get you into every National Park in the United States if you're US center every National Park in the United States, and it's a lifetime pass for you and the people accompanying you. So just putting that plug in here for the. A lifetime US and I forget the name. Of the past. But we'll we'll.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's fantastic. So yeah, that's a that's a. That's great. I thought they only did it for kids in the 4th grade year, so it's really nice to know that they've extended that to other individual group.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Lifetime Pass for anyone who has a who has a permanent disability, plus their family. Numbers. Yeah, yeah.

Host: Michael:

That's awesome. In terms of the internet's ruling, there were really kind of.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Wait, wait. Before you say that, let me let me go back to something else though. is we can't impose our countries values on other countries. They get that. And yet without seeing the models of other countries and how they function, isn't that part of being a worldwide citizen is to look at what other people are doing? Maybe well, maybe not. And accept their influence. I mean, we're in relationships. At a country level, and so sometimes I think when we look around, we can see other countries doing things better than we do shouldn't. I thought that shouldn't we impose that on ourselves? To some extent. I don't say and I don't think the US should impose our standards on necessarily other countries, but I think we need to be open as countries to accept influence, hopefully for the good to make our nation better, right? Anyway, that's just that was the thought running through my head. Thank you, Michael.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. So they’re ruling kind of came down in three. Three kind of categories. One was straight up. You're the asshole. Like, you know you went. You clearly have a grudge against her by calling her thing when it's literally her life and she has to deal with it on a daily basis. You went way too far in the way you chastise her at the end, you know, let's hope that you haven't damaged this friendship beyond repair. Blah blah. So you're the asshole. Was a big group there. There were several people who said no assholes here essentially kind of equate each other out, and that you both kind of made missteps and maybe maybe you could have done better. And then the other one was. Everybody sucks here, and that seemed to have the most traction because it was people reading through the post and going well. He said you talked about this well in advance and she said no, I'm not going to. Do it and then kind of at the 11th hour decided. Yep, I want to do it. And now they don't have any time to figure out an accommodation.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's assholes. I call assholes on that. That felt like a consent conversation. You get to change your mind to what? You're consent to what she said. She wanted to go, and then at the last minute back down. Which you. Know like no.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I get where they're coming from and respectfully disagree with the Internet on that. Yes, I we do change. Sometimes we change our minds. Sometimes we get to a place, we get to a situation and we change our minds.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Now.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Then we shouldn't necessarily like to. To me, the ability to say this is not the decision I came to was a poor decision and I should change. My decision is actually kind of a kind of a good trait. I think people sometimes we get down a path and we've made the decision we've told everyone. OK, we're going to keep. Doing it and. Sometimes, like Super Bad idea and let's. Let's change this up, and especially when traveling to unknown places you've never been before having. Having I really and my family really enjoys traveling, and sometimes we find ourselves. Yeah, I know the thing. It'll work the way you plan on having it work. Yeah. Yeah. And you have to change up your plans. And I think that there's there are opportunities here for. There are opportunities here for, for everyone to kind of do things a bit differently than they did. But I'm not mad at.

Host: Michael:

Her for changing her mind and wanting to wanting to do it or being upset she couldn't. Sure. Well, one of one of the posts that I'm going to read is the perspective of the everybody. Sucks here and mainly this one stuck out because it had been upvoted and commented on so much so it says everybody sucks here, but let me explain. Having a disability sucks big time. I'm disabled and there are so many aspects of life that a disabled person will never get to enjoy. Disabilities don't just mean I can't walk and I'm wheelchair bound. People with service animals get rejected by a lot of places because of their animals. People with PTSD have to endure fireworks and loud noises because holidays happen. People with diabetes can't have real sugar. It sucks. It's not fair. It is what it is. Expecting a wheelchair. Access to a volcano track, however, is a bit madness. It doesn't mean. That she can't want to try to experience that in some way and express the grief and disappointment about that disability and demands on the world do not make her an asshole. It just makes her a human being. The fact that you went off on her makes you a bit of an asshole, though. You really shouldn't be able to do the bobble head and passively. Go along with her beliefs if you really think she's taking her message too far. You know, that's part of being a good friend. It's not able us to say certain things are just not meant for handicap access. It's also not ablest for my town to have two huge fireworks displays a year, even though me and a bunch of other vets get panic attacks from them. It's just part of life. I hate it, but I've accepted it that it's part of my reality. The world may care about a person's disability. However, the world is not required to change and accommodate it at every turn, but that doesn't mean you don't stop asking it to change.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Hmm.

Host: Michael:

I thought that was kind. Of interesting you know.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

For sharing that one, that is, that is a really thoughtful response by a commenter. So.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Now.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. And then the poster responded and he just said this exploded unexpectedly. I've read nearly every comment, even though I didn't respond to all of them. Seems like the general consensus is OK with the general sentiment, but I did a really bad job with the words conveyed, and I've made the situation far worse than it could have been. I knocked on her door. And I apologized about how I said it. I apologize for my language, and using the word should instead of could in the sense that. It would damage local cultural sentiments and natural features to add accessible, hand accessible accessibility services. The way she outlined it, we had a chat, she said. She was sad to miss out on the bigger hike and when she saw us packing for it got really excited and that's what prompted her to change her mind. We're good friends, we're good, we're good now. We're friends for about 8 years and both of us regularly enjoy spirited arguments, but it's not normally about this topic. This is the first time it came up. I'm still learning the ropes about how best to approach this area, and so some of the you’re the asshole comments really helped with that. Thanks everyone.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Wow, I you know what?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Love the attitude. Great.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I I love it when people. I mean when you can hear people say you're an asshole and go. Yeah. Yeah, that's I. I think that there's like that's one of the like I think personal goals I have to be able to hear negative feedback and go. Yeah. OK. Yeah yeah that's helpful. Because most of the time. When people provide that if their. If they love you and they care about you, if they provide negative feedback, they they do mean it as a as, as as some or they hopefully you have a good relationship mean it is something that they want you to improve on. So you know the sort of loving rebuke can be a really positive and caring thing to do you much more caring than being just being nice. About it or just?

Host: Michael:

Name calling.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, that's pretty dickish. So I like where this one landed and I like both of those posts here. You read out Michael, especially the person who came to realize. Yeah, I was a dick and apologized and kind of like made it right and that recognition that yeah. It was like huge disappointment when I actually got there I could feel that.

Host: Michael:

Right. Yeah, well.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

What?

Host: Michael:

Thank you both for an awesome conversation and a glimpse into the collective consciousness of the Internet forums. Remember, morality is often shades of Gray and not just black or white.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Life is strange. You really can't make this stuff up. And why would you?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. So we'll do this again next week and really looking forward to Michael pulling another interesting thing out of the Internet for us to talk about. But stick around, we've got some, we got more.

Host: Michael:

Coming absolutely. Please follow and share very test views. Any of the podcast platforms with your neighbors and friends. And as always, as they've alluded to, stick around through the credits for the bonus conversation. But the seemingly random items in therapist's office and the stories behind those objects.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

The conversation.

Kelly Buttrick:

You can follow Doctor Dan Kessler @drdankessler and Dr. Gayle MacBride @drgmacbride. Oh, and you can find them both at VeritasPP.com. Credits. Tickling the ivories, Matthew Redington. Art production and design bringing the show together with flair and finesse, Michelle Love. Recording and editing, turning chaos into something worth sharing, Michael MacBride. Intro/outro, I'm Kelley Buttrick a VO talent who just happens to be Doctor MacBride's cousin. Cats: CJ, Linus, Sadie and Griffin. Hosting by whomever lost the coin flip. Interruptions by all their children. The content of this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Listening to this podcast does not constitute a therapist client relationship. If you believe you may be experiencing a mental health issue, please seek the assistance of a qualified. Mental health professional if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 from anywhere in the US to be connected to crisis mental health services.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for listening. As promised, here's that bonus conversation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Gayle, do you have, like a foam apple thing in your office.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I do. I have a decorative apple and it's really strange. It sits on the top of. A shelf in. My office, just alone. It's not even a part of a fruit bowl, but I bought it to represent a conversation that I had with my then five year old child. And it's a reminder of this amazing conversation. But it's also a great conversation. Have for adult individuals in my. In my office, when we're talking about cognitive distortions, so the story is that my son was sitting at the table using kindergarten at the time, and he was eating an apple and he said to me, mom, I know that if I hold this apple up here right in front of his face, it looks really, really big. But if I hold it over here, it looks small. And I was like, oh, my gosh, my child is a genius. He understands this idea of perspective. And it was really just from a development point. It was really cool moment to watch him explain to me his world. Right. And I think he's hearing the world through their lenses. Is cool anyway. And so I took a bit further in the conversation than with him. And I said, well, you know, buddy, OK, so two things. One, I treat adults and two, I've always explained to my kids that I'm a feeling doctor, because how do you explain therapist to a 5 year old? So I said to him, you know, buddy, this is something that I teach grown-ups every day and I'm not even kidding you. He looked at me.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That guy had three heads. What do you mean you were telling grown-ups something that me is kindergartener knows and understands, like he did not comprehend. I said, well, you know, one of the jobs that I.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right, right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Have is to help people when they come in my office. Their problems look are right in front of their face. They look really, really big. And if we can just. Suck them over. Here they look smaller and we can see around them and we can see that there are other choices and I use that as an introduction to a conversation about cognitive distortions, because identifying what distortion you're using in a particular instance and negative. Come across right, you can say, oh, I can back up from that now because I can name it and I can sort of see around it and gather, you know, better, more clear evidence. So I use that a. Lot in my cognitive work.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That makes a lot of sense. Thank you. Thank you.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Not less random than it seemed, huh?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You know, there’s, there's always a reason. Right. Yeah. Alright, cool. Thank you.

Host: Michael:

That's definitely part of why I love these little conversations. At the end is, you know, there are. There's a reason for everything in your space or it wouldn't be there at some point. So yeah, well, thanks everyone for tuning in tune again next week for another riveting am I the asshole debate looking forward to it.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

See you all next week.

Kelly Buttrick:

We love hearing from you, so please review us on Apple, Spotify or well, wherever you're listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please review, like, and follow. Also give it a share. That helps us reach more listeners.

What is that? (Listen to the end of the episode, after the credits, to find out!)

Transcript

Kelley Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychologists.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I'm Doctor Gayle MacBride and I'm really excited to be here today because this is actually something I look forward to every week. I'm joined today by Doctor Daniel Kessler, whose intellect is only matched by his wit.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Hi there, Gayle, Michael, how are you today and I'm well, I'm ready to roll.

Host: Michael:

Oh, well, welcome both of you for the newbies out there. If you don't know, what am I? The asshole is, in short, someone post the scenario and ask readers who's the asshole here. And that's where we're going to help. Determine and if you're new, you should also know that we always have a bonus conversation at the end of the credits, so stick around for that. But right now, neither Gayle nor Dan have read this prompt or seen this before, so let's go. Today's prompt is am I the asshole for refusing to take down a picture that has my son's dead name? So this one has lots of layers to it, like an onion. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys do with it. OK, so I'll read the whole thing here, which isn't super long.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I sometimes you're like, oh, yeah or no and this one. I want to hear more.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I need to hear more. Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

They're more because the because you know, obviously we don't want to use those dead names. But at the same time, I want to hear more. Yeah.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. So I 42 year old female have a son, Ben, 19 with my husband Tom. Ben was born a girl and realized by the age of 16 that he wanted to transition myself and Tom were not initially supportive and it took longer to come around and only did so. After my husband Tom passed in an accident, then I realized how distant my relationship with Ben was. When Ben was born. Turn Tom got a tattoo of our then daughters name on his arm and we have a lovely picture together of me. Tom and Ben at a few months old at the beach where Tom's tattoo is visible. Ben doesn't like me to keep pictures up of him of him. In the past when he was a kid or older. And still female presenting. So I only have pictures of either him as a toddler or as an adult. Now the only picture that I have agreed not to or I have not agreed to take down is the one of us at the beach. I really like that one. And Bens only issue is that the tattoo shows his dead name. But for me it's one of the happiest memories and I don't want to take it down. Ben is very upset about me keeping the picture up and says I'm being cruel as it reminds him of his dead name. Tom passed when Ben was still. This is clarification. I guess Tom passed when Ben was still female presenting. So the only photo I have is of us three that Ben. Likes is the one at the beach where he's wearing a younger gender neutral outfit. Also, the photo is in a private place of the house near my bedroom, which is the only place where I see it and no other house guest would unless they came into my room. So am I an asshole for? Shipping this picture of my dead husband and my sons. That name up on the. Wall. Wow.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, so often these are, I mean this complexity to this you know, on the surface of it, let's always respect what someone wants to be called. This is a tough one.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I I completely agree, and I think I think that's just it, is this, this writer has been really thoughtful in terms of where this name is appearing and in making sure in every other way to be supportive of her son. Is fantastic, and yet there's still one sticking point. Now, of course, if these individuals were in our office, we'd definitely be having a conversation about what? Like for Ben to have even one reminder and what his thoughts are about this as well as exploring the connection the mom has to this photo that contains this name. I think that is really important. I do think that there is an interesting I tend to I really do struggle with solution and just really finding a solution here.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You get, you get you. I'm going to stop you.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, I'm going to. I don't want. Please. Please, times. You know, even there rained in. Please do rained in on our solution. Focus. Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Is that OK? I jump in and just like. So I think the toughest, the toughest issues for us to address when we're working with families and couples are those issues where I don't know that anyone on the face of it is wrong. Like I think Mom here really wants to respect your son's wishes and at the same time has lost someone, I presume she loves very much and clearly at an age that was. Younger than expected, she wants to remember him and them as a family so I can see where she feels that way, and I can also see where Ben would feel like. Gosh, this, this, this is such a reminder of a time in my life that was so painful. I can. I can absolutely see where both of them have good reason for feeling the way they're feeling.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Cool. I think that in some ways they're both right.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Yeah. So that's a that, that's a tough one. I mean, it's certainly if they were in my office, I would really want to spend some time exploring feelings around this, whether these folks have, whether Mom and son have gotten entrenched in, like, this is what has to be or it should be or, you know, and whether they can find some way of resolving this so that both of them not, that they're compromising and both of them are giving in. But it's solving it so both of them feel happy. About what happened.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh, absolutely. And I think there's something here in terms of BENS relationship with his deceased father in terms of the family photo because Ben was female, presenting for the duration of his father's life. That may also warrant a more thoughtful kind of conversation too, because, I mean, obviously been a part of this family unit and is represented in this.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Hmm.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Photo in. His female toddler hood, like I think that. I think it's interesting that the writer says that Ben had it. It sounds like a better relationship. With dad in. Some ways prior to his death. And so, you know, there's this. There's this dynamic here of someone who's not with us anymore represented in that picture that I'm. Sure, he has thoughts about.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I can also see where, if I remember correctly, Dad had not been accepting. So this becomes Michael's nodding. Excellent.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Ohh yeah, I thought that was.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Sorry. You’re right. She, she suddenly clarifying thing that they weren't really supportive initially and it yeah, it was after her husband passed that. Then they reconnecting. Yeah, but.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

But I thought I. Thought Dad was accepting before Mom? No.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I don't.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Just understand that.

Host: Michael:

I'll go back and reread. But I don't think so. Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, let us know. Yeah. Yeah, I was calling. I was calling out. I was calling out Michael's nodding for those who are not watching. Us on YouTube. No, I mean, you know this is I could totally see if that name represents the father's not acceptance. Yeah, that would be further hurt. You know, I hate to go Princess Bride on us here. But like, I clearly can't. I clearly can't choose the wine in front of me.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh please.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That is. Is how I feel about. This because I really can't. See both perspectives on this as as being meaningful and have such like emotion tide to them.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, Michael.

Host: Michael:

Let me jump in really quick and say so. The post does say the mom took the longest to come around, so it does sound like the father was at least at some point it doesn't specify how long before he passed supportive of. Sons transition and adopting the new name. So.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

OK, what's that?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It sounds like this one is maybe more fully transitioned since the father's death, because, I mean, we're talking about kind of a three-year timeline here I think than was 16 at the time and now 19. So anyway, but I mean I think it further just kind of says we need to have a conversation with Ben. Around his relationship with his father and what that was like and how that acceptance kind of came to be. And maybe that initial reluctance on his. Part of both of their part, and then just see that represented in the speech photo.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

One of one of yeah, one of my experience has been when when couples or families start getting together and having those deeper conversations in a therapy office. And I hate to sound like I'm like plugging for therapy. But this is what I do for a living, right? Right. But sometimes as people begin exploring these things.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Goodbye.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

In therapy office, they come to a resolution themselves because what we're doing is helping them to hear each other more. And I sense the sense of entrenched Ness here that could really benefit from just exploring together how how the feelings are within that non judgmental kind of an atmosphere.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

One of the techniques that I really like for these kinds of dynamics is that Gottman technique where you have each person outline a really narrow set of inflexible. All ideals, dreams, whatever. Right. It's just it's just, it's narrow as you can make it that you are absolutely unwilling to compromise on. And then in the outer circle listing everything else in the scenario that you could compromise on and allowing them to look at those areas of non flexibility. And everything that's flexible, I mean one that helps individuals see that actually there's more area of flexibility and ability to compromise than there are in flexibility and that tends to increase liking and respect for the person. Because when we start seeing the other person in the argument as being wrong, we tend to see them as being incredibly inflexible. And we're the one that's making all the compromise and we have all of these. This attribution, so one I think it's an exercise in saying no, mind, I add partner absolutely has a lot of flexibility and I can see those areas now. But also it really says this is what is. The pain point. This is what I treasure the most. I really need this to be accounted for in the solution and as much as I might want to jump to a solution, I think that doesn't represent their solution. They may have a very different solution, so I like that that technique a lot.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, I agree. And I really do like it. If I have confidence about anything. I have confidence that if this if these folks were to were to sit down and really work at hearing each other's perspectives, they'd come to some resolution. I don't know what that resolution would. Be, by the way, it's not like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Think of another number of different possible solutions that might not leave people feeling like I've given in and they've given an equally, but more like leaving both both Mom and son feeling like I was respected and we came to a decision as a as a family about what to do about this family picture. I don't know what solution would be and as a therapist I. Would be kind of agnostic to that, like whatever solution they came to is their solution to come to and. I just maybe I'm overly confident, but I think that if these folks sat down, they would probably come because something if they were able to hear each other and maybe the internets necessarily, I don't the Internet agree with that. That's kind of my sense of it. Just having worked with a bunch of.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Folks, we're in very different spots. Well, I think when you go through something as really formative. And impactful as child's transition from one gender presentation to another, I think you have gained a lot of wisdom and skills, hopefully along the way and a lot of compassion for each other. So I'm hopeful that this family could do that again. But I think you're right, it would be a solution unique to themselves.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Now, you said you had a solution earlier. Can we go back to that?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. I honestly, if this were my child and they wanted to be represented as a family photo, but the sticking point is the name, the tattoo on the image we can airbrush that we can just take that off of Dad.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I think I think the I think. The kids say Photoshop now.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Thank you. All right. So I'm all that, that's fine, but that wasn't even the photo.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

OK.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, the point is like we just have such digital abilities to make that look flawless and seamless. Now my worry or concern about that as a potential solution is then that disrespects dad's body. Dad chose to put ink his name on his body, but it may be that it's the sun transitions that he would have then modified.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Tattoo to be more reflective of Bens current name versus Bens dead name so.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, like I. In my in my fantasy about how this turns out like the dad, you know doesn't die, and the mom keeps the photo up and like Dad has the has the has the tattoo altered on his arm to be and instead of whatever it did before or and then they go together and they like Photoshop it together as part of like this family project and it becomes like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hmm.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Warm, squishy, like, oh, but that but also means that, like, dad's alive. And so I've I've, like, resurrected father for this, for this fantasy of how this comes. Out which obviously.

Host: Michael:

Happen so.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right. But given that father can't be alive, then I think this is the next step because I do think that that would have been a family conversation if Dad had lived, then Ben would say, you know, you still have to think on your body, and that feels disrespectful to who I am now. Imagine that would be a hurdle that this family would have to have overcome given that dad is not with us, then we still have that hurdle. Overcome in some way, and this may be the most respectful way to do it, that that would be my solution again fine.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And Imagined a much smaller tax. Imagine a much lower tax solution with with mom, like sticking like a, like a sticky note or something. Or A or a stick on circle or something on the on the frame but.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, I mean absolutely. That could have been an an instant solution. You know, we worked with the guy once. What can we do by next Tuesday like that would have been, you know, doable by next Tuesday kind of thing. and I like that as a temporary solution to what's happening because we don't want to get rid of this very precious family photo and this. Totally important family memory.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. I think I think it's therapists, the toughest part of this would be to or push out for me would be to avoid jumping in with some solutions and just spending the time with them exploring. Yeah. Anything that they come to a resolution without, without my suggesting anything without anything.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's absolutely the feeling I had in this conversation today. I mean, it's parallel to that. I mean, I was aware that I wanted this solution, but yeah, therapist, that's not what you want to come out with for your clients. You need them to come to it. And then if they're absolutely at a standstill still, sometimes we can gently. Offer a couple of ideas and just to get the ball rolling and ask them to generate some more ideas and that sometimes is helpful too because people can get really stuck in their way of thinking and not see options. And I've had people go Oh my gosh, that is so elegant and simple. That's that's exactly what I needed. Thank you. And you just kind of shake it, shake it loose for them. So Michael, I think you were going to take something and. We're just happily talking over you.

Host: Michael:

No, that's fine. I yeah. I just wanted to come in and say it was. It was interesting. The tattoo removal in the image was one of the suggestions the Internet came up with. And often the topics I choose, I try to find one that kind of has more of a light hearted aspect to it because I enjoy kind of the humor that goes with it. But then something like this. Just really grabbed me. and I have to say like it's one of the moments where the Internet didn't disappoint me, like people actually really respectfully engaged in the conversation you saw. There was a lot of people from the trans community that came out and responded as well. Where we going to say go ahead.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Yeah. No, I was going to. I didn't want to hear what the Internet. I didn't know if they. If you were going to jump in with what the Internet said yet.

Host: Michael:

I'll hold off until you officially say what you think, but I was going to say the tattoo thing came up and the comment was, you know, even if Dad, we don't know if Dad changed his tattoo, because there were at least some overlap in there where Dad accepted Ben and his transitioned his new name. And so maybe he actually did change it. It still wouldn't have changed it in the photo. But you could go back and like you said, airbrush Photoshop.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh.

Host: Michael:

Up. Heck, you could even ask Reddit to fix this for me, like they often do with images.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh, I had Reddit fix a picture of my kids surfing with a whole bunch of people surfing in the background. Took like half an hour and someone fixed it for me.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's amazing. Why so old school? I didn't even think about doing that. Wow.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I posted it.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

OK, before you are clearly stronger redditors than I am.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And I've.

Host: Michael:

Been to the Internet.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Someone on Reddit if you posted that picture to that like there's a Photoshop subreddit or something. If you do that, I guarantee you it will get fixed within like 10 minutes.

Host: Michael:

No.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Actually, so we need to finish this conversation, but I.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Someone would jump in and say absolutely.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Think no, no, no.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I'll pick that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I absolutely before we wrap, I really want to tell the Reddit photo story that that we have for my family because it's a fantastic story. It needs to be told, but it doesn't need to take up space in this conversation. I'd like to tell it. Before this conversation. OK, do it later.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And it's ours. Our really. I'm actually going to say there's. No assholes here.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

assholes here.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I I think that everyone is coming from a place of. Love and caring and you know the mom I hear. I hear her pain. You know? She she she loves her son and doesn't want to hurt him. And at the same time she misses her husband. And just for yearns for that family picture and doesn't have any. I totally get Sonny's position of gosh, this reminds me of a painful time and.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Now.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I just. I just can't see anyone here. As an asshole.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I totally agree with you. I don't think anybody's an asshole. I think the sun is.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Absolutely voicing his concerns, and began for himself, and I think that's what you need to do in a process like this, is to advocate for yourself. And I think Mom did a really good job of kind of explaining how she came to the place that she's at. She's clearly been impacted by her husband's death and really used that as motivation to connect with her. Run and move her off of her really stuck spot around his gender identity, and so I do admire Mom's willingness to be flexible. She might have come to it slowly, but I think that that is not unusual. And so I agree. No holds here. Just a tough.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Family spot to be in.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. So what did the Internet say, Michael?

Host: Michael:

They were almost universally: no assholes here. The few that said not the like, just straight out, not the asshole, strongly recommended the sun get well. Actually that the two of them get therapy together. Family therapy to talk about unresolved issues. But yeah, most it was really interesting to see how many people. Came out and identified as trans and said I'm male to female. I'm female to male. I'm and they gave personal information about themselves and told personal stories and said Mom has done all the right things. She's not showcasing images where your birth sex is obvious. She has keeping. She's kept those photos of the family private and not displayed them. She's trying to be respectful that this image is not in a public space, so it's really for her private memory and reflection. She's embraced your new name. Yes. It took her a while to get around to it. But you know. It's a small detail. We don't see the image. Mom did engage in a couple of the responses for information and she never once gave the dead name or any additional information. Yeah, OK. So.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. So and we don't even have comments on the comments, I mean usually.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like. Yeah, sounds good to me. No, I've got.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Scare them apart a little bit, but no, I this is this is a wonderful response from the Internet and the trans community.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Really glad, really glad that that, that folks chimed in and said how they feel and I'm. I'm personally going to go back and Michael, I'm sure you'll send me that. I'd love to read the comments myself because it's really interesting. So yeah.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, it was a good one. It's. Yeah, it was just kind of hurtful. And I could totally feel the mom. You know, kind of the grief, right, like of if you imagined a hole in your photo album from three years old to 16 and not being able to look at those images or display them would be really hard.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Be tough. Yeah, all right.

Host: Michael:

Well, thank you both. Again, for a riveting conversation, I always enjoy where these go. And as we've talked about the moralities, not Shades of Grey, it's not just black. And white, sorry.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh my gosh. Well, life is certainly strange. You can't make this stuff up. And would you want to?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, yeah. and join us next time we go through another another really intriguing discussion here I hope I hope intriguing.

Host: Michael:

Move. Yeah, that's what I aim for so.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So before we kick off. To our bonus conversation, I want to tell you. About this photo.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

An extra bonus bonus conversation.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, this is the bonus bonus. Blow your mind. So if you know it's not 2020 was fucked up here, just straight up bucked up every time we turned around, there was something that was fucked up and.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Up here. Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

We I think. Hopefully it go through maybe on a memory or something like that. Yeah, I can't quite remember, but we were recently reminded of a photo that we took because something else really sucked up happened in 2020. It was a storm that came through and I, you know, typically when a storm comes through and go to the front of my house and if you've got the sun setting, especially in the afternoon in the back, you can get really great rainbows. Fun love to see a good rainbow and I went out and I am not even kidding you. It was the most fucked up triple Rainbow I had ever seen because you had a rainbow arc and.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Then a rainbow and then a rainbow.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

No, the rainbow at the wrong angle.

Host: Michael:

Right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It was a fucked up rainbow. We're like, what the heck? Look, I'm seeing when they see I took a photo, uploaded it to Reddit. I am telling you in 10 minutes, didn't it? Didn't think about it. Didn't strip the location information off the photo. So someone mapped it. Recognize that there's a body of water over there. That was refracting the light and that was. What was sent? The fucked up rainbow. Thank you, Reddit. Oh my gosh, you geolocated me. Really quickly and explains the physics of what I was saying.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

This is the. It was so cool. If there's nothing else that's in, it's an instructive tale on what you post on the Internet and how easy it is to find you. They were able to geolocate and figure out where the rainbow effect came from.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, yeah.

Host: Michael:

They did it very respectfully. They didn't docs us or share the address they just said based on this stuff, there's this body of water and of course Gayle and I were like, Oh my God, yes, there is. It was totally a science.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, exactly. We'll have to post it out.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Wasn't.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It was. It was great. Lots. It was supposed to de identify baby version on the on the website.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, think of that. That picture needs to go up along. With the pictures in our office OK.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. So please do follow and share Veritas views. Any of the podcast platforms with your neighbors and friends and as always, stick around through the credits for the, I guess, bonus bonus. Now conversation about the random items and therapist offices and the stories behind those objects.

Kelley Buttrick:

You can follow Doctor Dan Kessler @drdankessler and Dr. Gayle MacBride @drgmacbride. Ohh, and you can find them both at veritaspp.com. Credits. Tickling the ivories, Matthew Redington. Art production and design bringing the show together with flair and finesse, Michelle Love. Recording and editing, turning chaos into something worth sharing, Michael MacBride. Intro/outro, I'm Kelley Buttrick, a VO talent who just happens to be Doctor MacBride's cousin. Cats: CJ, Linus, Sadie, and Griffin. Hosting by whomever lost the coin flip. Interruptions by all their children. The content of this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice. Diagnosis or treatment listening to this podcast does not constitute a therapist client relationship. If you believe you may be experiencing a mental health. Issue please seek the assistance of a qualified mental health professional if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 from anywhere in the US to be connected to crisis mental health services.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for listening. As promised, here's the bonus bonus bonus conversation.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

All right, I'm Dan. Can I ask you about something I've seen? In your office. Absolutely. Maybe. I can't even tell you. How long ago I noticed the show up, but I'm kind of impressed because I think it's. I think it's a little stress squeezies. But it's in. Shape of a curling stone.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I'm wrong about exactly what that is, a curling stone squeezy. It's something squishy, but curling stones are not that. They're.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No it isn't. Decidedly, that's a 4044 block of granite. Yes, you. I went with my with my curling team Hank's boiler repair to a. To a curling event. It was a tournament the, the, the US men's, the gold medal winning US men's team were there and we, we we watched it and they were giving out little curling stone like stress squeezy things. And I thought that is a cool thing ever. And it came to my office and it's just there and I will say interesting. It's been there for about 5 years now I think. One person is gone. Is that a curling stone? It just kind of sits there and I'm sure people.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Go ohh Minnesota, you would think that people would know what calling stone is when.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

We're in Minnesota. They probably just look and go, huh? Curling stone like no big deal like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right. But if you were like North Carolina, they'd be like.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

What the hell is that? Yeah. Oh, yeah, totally. Totally. So there you go.

Host: Michael:

They they don't. Want to completely derail this? But was that the same one where we saw the professional mustache guy?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes, again, the largest mustache and it was like like 6 feet across.

Host: Michael:

No, no, I mean the guy who had the crazy mustache in the curling center who followed the, it wasn't 6 feet, but it was. It was pretty mass.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

OK. Maybe maybe two or three.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Feet. It was a big ass mustache though.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, I was pretty impressive and he just followed the curling team around and supported them. And he was like, sponsored for his mustache or something like that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh my gosh.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You're. Yeah, by the way, I'm going to vouch and say that that that that was. Not made-up, that was. You telling the truth? You tell the truth so.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, alright, cool. Well, thanks everyone for tuning in. TuneIn next week. For as Dan said, another riveting am I the asshole.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Bye

Kelley Buttrick:

We love hearing from you, so please review us on Apple, Spotify or well, wherever you're listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please review like and follow. Also give it a share. This helps us reach more listeners.

What is that? (Listen to the end of the episode, after the credits, to find out!)

Transcript:
Kelley Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychologists.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hi. I'm doctor Gayle MacBride and with me today is my colleague and partner doctor Daniel Kessler.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Hey, Gayle.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Say something nice about you. Now I guess I'll say smart guys. That's pretty funny.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm supposed to say something really nice about you, too. I'll say that, that, that I really appreciate. No, I do. I. We've been spending ten years in offices side by side, bouncing stuff off together, off of off each other. We have big questions and. And like discussing psychological. It’s really fun Stuff like that's great. Enjoy doing this. So let's go.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Welcome both of you for anybody who's new to this out there. If you don't know, what am I the asshole is in short, someone posts a scenario and asks readers who's the asshole here. And that's we're going to help determine. Neither Dan nor Gayle have seen this before. So let's check it out. Today's is much shorter than some of the other ones in the past, so the headline is: am I the asshole for suggesting my girlfriend wears PPE at poker night? And then the very short.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You mean like a mask?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Personal protective equipment like a medical professional, OK.

Host: Michael:

I believe so. So. So this is this is the this.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

OK.

Host: Michael:

Is the full question. My mate hosts poker and cigar nights and this time our girlfriends were invited. He had a basket of filtration masks available for the girls when they arrived. Because of the cigars. Most of the girls were wearing them when we got there and it could be really smoky during the night, so I suggest she just wears it like the others, she said. It was an asshole thing to make girls wear masks so the guys could smoke without feeling guilty, which I don't feel that it was. Who's the asshole here?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, train so. This dude is going to poker night. This is generally attended by other dudes who like to assume drink, maybe high end liquors such as scotches and bourbons and things like that as as men are want to do and.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Or low end or low.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Smoke.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

End beers at some of the poker.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Nights I've been to, oh, I suppose, but you wouldn't maybe do that with cigars, right? Low and beer and cigar doesn't really work like higher and worker in cigars. So sorry. I was making my.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Anyway. No, you're right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And so so we've got these, we've got those, these men sitting around the traditional poker table drinking liquor again, I presume, and smoking cigars and this this particular night, the ladies are invited and then they're given masks to wear. That that, that's the. That's the thing like. Do I haven't liked I.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I think you have it right. Does she have? It right, Michael.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, that's exactly the scenario that you're describing, right?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

What the fuck?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That is exactly it. What the fuck? Like, you know what? The ladies are dainty and they need masks. And US real men will smoke cigars and not have masks. This is. This is wrong on so many levels.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

This is so ridiculous. Yeah. And to absolve your skills or discomfort, smoking cigars, you're going to just slap a mask, I mean. Not invited the women, to be honest, if you don't want your women folk to inhale the cigar smoke or they aren't going to like it. Don't have them come. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of not inviting them. In the first place. And they say that a bit tongue in cheek, but actually there was a, there was a great book. I'm going to take this off topic a little bit and you can bring it back in a moment. Either the gentleman in this conversation but there is a there's a book called the. Part of the Gathering and it's written by this woman, Priya Parker, who actually I think, Dan, you might be really interested in reading and knowing more about because she does high conflict mediation. She's got this back. And but she has written this book all about how how we gather. And she defines gathering history and more people and then really talks about the intention of the gathering and who you invite and kind of almost setting up rules around the gathering so that you can hold the intention of the gathering, like the moms night. You don't talk about your kids. And if you talk about it. You get a shot. You know, like that, kind of. Thing like, really? Being intentional about it, and I'll tell you what, I read the book. It was fascinating. She talked about this whole idea of, you know, not inviting someone that sometimes the nicest thing you can do so they don't have to tell you no right and have that awkward conversation. I loved it. And then I will tell you at the end of the book, I closed it and went. Oh my God, this is a group therapy textbook for therapists. This this was exactly what you need to do to run good, good group therapy. So there you go. That's that's my tangent.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. No, that's it's, it's on topic of course. But I think I was thinking about. Again, we this happens so often and I've I've made the comment before that like every ROM COM could be solved by a good conversation 10 minutes into it and roll credits. But like, here's an opportunity to say hey. They. Like they could have, like, you know what we love to smoke and that's part of poker night. If you want to wear. A mask, all the while smoking.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

OK, I'm going to. You can continue at the moment, but any woman who is with a man at poker night, and this is a ritual, knows that they asshole smoke cigars because he comes home and smells.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like cigars. Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

What do you feel about the smell of cigars that's coming home like?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Wait, but but there's an opportunity to say like, like, we're all going to smoke cigars. Are you comfortable with that? You want to wear a mask to make yourself let to? Make yourself more comfortable with it or. You know, or to sit down and say, you know what we're going to decide not to smoke cigars this poker night because we're inviting people who might be who might. Not feel comfortable. With that cigar smoke but but. But it's a conversation, and I think that the line is absolutely crossed when he's like you should wear a mask too with all the other, all the other women are doing it like that is that's again telling her what to do with her body.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yes, absolutely. And in a sense, how to dress, I mean, would he feel comfortable saying, well, you know, the other girlfriends are wearing, you know, body, body hugging dresses to this event tonight. So you oughta, you know, take that frilly thing off and put on something that's a little snugger like torrent. And yeah, we're telling her to wear a mask.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That's. Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

How to how to present her body and how to protect herself, like that's just.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And having, having been to many, many a poker night in my, in my misspent youth, although not this, not this kind, I. I was a member of the Moose Lodge and the Loyal order of the Moose from in in southern Virginia, and I played poker every Wednesday night and it was great game. I loved it. And it was a small basement room and everybody smoked there. But me there, there wasn't cigars or bourbon, there was beer and cigarettes, and I came home and I. And I think you know anyone who who, who who. Yes as you mentioned Gayle, anyone who who had met with me afterwards would know immediately upon my arrival that I had been in a smoke filled room. Why don't have a conversation.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Why are we? Why are we inviting the partners? What are they supposed to do while these men play poker? Maybe socialize in another room again. Then you're away from the smoke. So flies in the same room.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Or they're lovingly over your partner's shoulder and cheer him up like the entertainment value here for these.

Host: Michael:

Maybe they're joining.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Women, maybe they're joining him with a poker night. I mean in, in which case, fine. But then that's a conversation ahead of time. Hey, you know, our partners don't particularly like, like Cigar Smoke. Let's not smoke this week, you know. Again, there's a conversation here, but the real the place where the line really gets crossed is when he tells. What to do?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Sure.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That that's. Like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That the host offered the masks that was actually, I think, generous and thoughtful. And. And, you know, some awareness. I think you're absolutely right. He crossed the line by suggesting that she engage in sort of conformity. She was aware presently that the mask was there. She had made that choice. She was not making that choice. He pressured her into a choice.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That is correct.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It's. She clearly didn't want.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Where? Where the fuck you want to wear? For fucks sake, OK? I mean, that's just it's just ridiculous to be demanding about about her or about her conforming with a social norm that she didn't sign up for and. And as you mentioned, everyone who walked in that room knew there was going to be cigars because they all know their boyfriends or husbands, and they got homes. They all they all knew. And if that's if that. If they were uncomfortable with it like you said, they could choose to wear masks, they can choose to not go, or the dudes could choose ahead of time to not smoke that particular week because it's just the respectful thing to do. Any of those things are perfectly valid and. And you're right, kudos to the hosts are being nice enough to offer masks if people uncomfortable. But where does anyone get off? Like no, you have to do this cause all the other women are doing it. No, no, no, no, no, no.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

No, no.

Host: Michael:

No, no. Well, I'm kind of surprised neither one of you have said. Why the girlfriend didn't clearly define the boundaries of like, I'm not going to go in that space. That's not for me. I'm not interested. Kind of thing like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, you know, I had something similar along those lines not why am I going in this space so much? Because I. Actually, don't think maybe it popped her and she doesn't seem to be 1 to conform to these norms, just cause the other women are wearing masks. So I actually was more curious about her rationale for not wearing a mask because it may be bothered others, maybe other boyfriends were saying, hey, I'll wear masks. And so their their girlfriends are along. For me, and she's not. So I would love to hear from her about her thought and rationale and experience.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I had this image of. Or like sitting down at the poker table, firing up a cigar and saying deal me in like what I? I mean I've. I've been at. I've been at poker nights that that that, that that we're not like all dudes there's a there there there are like some like I played I played a lot of poker in my life and I my. My grad attended a few grad school poker nights where where such things were going on and. Although, to be honest at one of my grad school poker nights, the smoking was decidedly not cigars or cigarettes. Those kind of cigars nor cigarettes and I.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You're up.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The hosts were kind enough to say to me, do you mind if we smoke and I didn't really particularly care that they wanted to smoke and they were. I think they were like, there were six of us and it was three men and three women and half of them partaked in the partook in the in the particular product being smoked and half didn't. And I wanted to keep my. Wits about me. You know, because I was a poor grad student.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hoping to make the bank off here a little dressed into.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Open it open.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Her. Not so with it.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I may have. Enjoy that night from a financial perspective because I had did not partake. It's possible that I walked away with, you know, a few bucks. But I you know, I knew what I was. Everyone knew they're getting into and I just. I have no idea why I suspect she want she joined in. I hope she joined into the game and why would why exclude anyone.

Host: Michael:

Unfortunately, we really don't get clarification on that. But as as always like I find I really love some of the comments. So I think my favorite comment this time around was if you all knew the girlfriends hate being around cigar smoke a, why invite them to poker night in the 1st place, you could have literally done anything else. B. Why didn't not? Why didn't not smoking become an option instead of make them wear PPE and then C I'll take shitty date night ideas for 500 Alex.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's ugly. OK, that's.

Host: Michael:

Like.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

David, that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Whoever wrote that, that's fantastic. Thank you.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

My favorite. I love all of those comments. Yes, why was it not smoking an option? Why did they? Why did they? They you said Gayle, why did they? Why did they invite them to this thing? That was kind of like their their dude thing. I.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, yeah, got nothing.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I got. Got I. I'm just. I'm just blown away by the whole like you. Have to wear. Mask thing like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

What I love that he's still sort of questioning like he's still questioning.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Who is the poster here? Was it the? Was it the girlfriends being made to wear the mask? Or was it the? Boyfriend, who was trying to make her wear the mask. I don't.

Host: Michael:

It was the boys. Boyfriend trying to make her wear the mask.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, he's an asshole.

Host: Michael:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, without a doubt.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I'm. I'm confident in that. For, for, for, for. The hard reason being telling her what to wear, the soft reason being like choosing to like smoke instead of like an offer. PPE instead of like, just not having cigars.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So are you saying the boyfriend's the asshole?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hard, full stop and then soft asshole for the other men at the gathering for choosing to smoke and or offering pette in lieu of everyone remaining on masks and it masks and enjoying their time together.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Unless it was one of those. Things. Yeah. I mean, I could certainly see it as one of those things. Like, hey, you all, you know, maybe the, the I think that you said they're all boyfriend girlfriend really. Good girlfriends all. Like I we really want to go, OK? Fine. You want to come happen to have a night where you all join us and kind of see what we're doing. But, you know, we smoked cigars. How do you feel about that? Like, that's again, we're back to the conversation like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right, that would have solved this tendency and roll credits.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The open, comfortable conversation around we all like to smoke cigars and then for the guys to sit down and be like, hey, what should we do about this cigar thing? This my I come home and my girlfriend's like you need to shower because you stink bro and you know. This has definitely come up in each of their relationships, clearly.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Sure. And again, I mean, the women have decided to go to this thing, believe that they know that. They smoke cigars. So that's it is an interesting dynamic. I would go soft assholes for the men who you know, maybe knew that this was in the front of the women when I had to did it anyway. And then, you know, hey baby mask up. But I don't really know. Exactly how that played out. So I feel like that's a that's a soft asshole. Maybe you suck a little bit. Kind of sort. Of but the boyfriend for sure. The moment he told her put. It on conformed to everybody else that that's just. That's asshole behavior.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Totally 100%. All right. We're in agreement. What is the Internet saying like?

Host: Michael:

I was going to say you're 100% in agreement with the Internet now. I guess I shouldn't say 100%. The vast majority said 100%. He's the asshole for a.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Once again.

Host: Michael:

Coercing her to come, it was assumption that she wouldn't have come otherwise, which I think is problematic, no?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I think.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I'm. I'm not a yeah, well. Wait, what you say, gal?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I just think that's an inaccurate interpretation based on the data that.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

We have. Yeah, I'm not. I'm not.

Host: Michael:

Right. We don't know why she chose the game. Both point out she might have wanted to play poker and she.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Maybe he told her she had to come. Apparently it's not about telling her what?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Maybe. To do right. No, that would make him that would. Make him even more. Of an asshole. Right. But if we're going to assume positive intent here and assume that that that that was like hey, like you know, all a lot of people, a lot of a lot of our partners have expressed some interest in doing this like. You know that tough night and and and come along. Yeah. I'm OK with that part of of of him inviting them and having them. I think I got a little sidetracked here. What was the? What did Michael use? Oh.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Michael, what we're on there.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh, he was an asshole for making her come. Yeah, I'm. I'm not. I'm not going to assume that he made her come if he did. If he did make her go, then that would be a that would totally be fucked up as well. But if they were invited and they had the choice and all the all the partners said, yeah, let's go to this. See this, this, this. This poker and it's like. Yeah, fine. I'm fine with that.

Host: Michael:

But to both of your point, I mean the. Minute that he. Coerces her to put on a mask and basically says conform. Everybody kind of piled on him, which rightfully so. I think my favorite tangents were people who essentially kind of tried to do the math and based on statistical analysis of Reddit user profiles and that kind of stuff, we're like, OK, you are white, 25 year old post college graduate.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Good.

Host: Michael:

You know, blah, blah, like pinpointed him and they're like, you're probably living in an urban, you know, and it was hilarious. I mean, he never came back in and, like, weighed in to say whether or not he was right. But then people were like, well, based on that, you should assume this and something else. And like, we feel like we're 85%. Right in our analysis of this person.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I mean, I have to admit that is more or less the picture I had in my head just from a gut sense. I didn't do the math on it. But you know, I did picture a young white male living in a relatively, you know, kind of urban area dating, you know, probably a similarly aged, maybe a bit younger, female, who maybe felt a little like.

Host: Michael:

Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

He could tell her what to do and be a little more commanding.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. I totally had that stereo. I totally had that, that stereotype, you know, in my in my head, the yeah. And they have.

Host: Michael:

It. And in their case, they also then extrapolated more, which is like you're probably drinking fuck liquor, thinking you're all that and, you know, smoking terrible cigars and blah blah blah. Anyway, like, they just kind of continued to file on them. And it was, it was kind of funny. To watch. Yeah, it's uh, it it it it's lucky.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I'm drinking fireball and smoking fuck cigars.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

He probably. Let's not make fun.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Of that, as someone who is better, graduate student, and in my early 20s and purchased a cigar and then smoked it, that was so bad. It's one of the biggest not really regrets, but it was pretty impactful now to. To flesh this out this story out just a moment, as one is maybe inclined to do when they're in Graduate School for clinical. Ecology it a very easy Halloween costume for them. Very young doctor. Not quite. Doctor MacBride was brilliant. Flip. And what do you do but wear a slip with pictures of freight all over it and carry a. Cigar for the night. And you know, you get into the night and maybe a couple of drinks and maybe you smoked cigar, but it probably cost you $3. Because you're a graduate student and nobody should smoke cigar.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I have I have. I have no idea what cigars.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I don't even remember, but all I know is I had to have been able to afford it and it was not good.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

It's not a good cigar, it's.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Not a good, not a good cigar.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I really think we're I'm glad we're I'm happy that the Internet came together. It is where, where, where we came on this and that's that, that there really isn't any point where we should be telling our partner what to do, what to wear, how to dress. And I'm super happy to hear that the Internet absolutely came down South hard on that really important piece of this of don't tell your partner what to do, offer them kindness, offer them this, but don't tell them what to do. So it's in this particular case where my heart.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Well, thank you both for another riveting debate and a glimpse into the collective consciousness of the Internet forums. Remember, morality is often shades of gray, and not just black and white.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Truth can be stranger than fiction stays true and stays strange.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And we'll be back next week with another fascinating thing again that I have no idea what it is. I'm just assuming it's going to be fascinating. Michael always picks the great stuff for us. So. So looking forward to, to chatting with you all and the Internets. Yeah. And then in a week or so.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Please follow and share veritas's views on any of the podcast platforms with your neighbors and friends, and always stick around through the credits for the bonus conversation about the seemingly random items and therapist's office and the stories behind those objects.

Kelley Buttrick:

You can follow Doctor Dan Kessler @drdankessler and Dr. Gayle MacBride: @drgmacbride. Oh, and you can find them both at VeritasPP.com. Credits. Tickling the ivories, Matthew Redington. Art production and design bringing the show together with flair and finesse, Michelle Love. Recording and editing, turning chaos into something worth sharing, Michael MacBride. Intro/outro, I'm Kelley Buttrick a VO talent who just happens to be Doctor MacBride's cousin. Cats: CJ, Linus, Sadie and Griffin. Hosting by whomever lost the coin flip. Interruptions by all their children. The content of this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Listening to this podcast does not constitute a therapist client relationship. If you believe you may be experiencing a mental health issue, please seek the assistance of a qualified. Mental health professional if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 from anywhere in the US to be connected to crisis mental health services.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for listening. As promised, here's the bonus conversation.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So Dan, I've known you for over a decade and for the duration of that time. You have had an item in your desk drawer when you open and you run running around in there, I see from time to time it seems a little bit out of place for therapists, so I'd like to ask you about it.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The big hammer, the big hammer.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, why? I really need to know why therapist doesn't hammer on the first. Do you really hammer things that often?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

There’s big. The big aspect.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

No, no. So.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

There's the hammer has two has two reasons. The 1st is that I've got a wall in my office that I look at every day and I wanted to find the perfect picture and I hung up. I got the hammer and I hung up all of my diplomas because, you know, my diplomas.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Point.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You know, but I so. I put the hammer in the thing when. I figure out what to put on that. All. Then I'll hammer it up. And I never 15 years and I have some figure out what to put there. So it’s there but but also the hammer was my dad's. And it it. It's a little piece of him. That stays there. You know it's an old hammer. It's got some damage to the handle. It's got a hole in it. I don't know where the hole came from. My dad. Dad. Drilled the hole and. At some point, but it’s also a piece of him that, that, that, that resides in my office. So like it's a, it's a monument to both a relationship with my father. And my own decisive this.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I love that and I can attest again, I've known you for a decade and I've not known you at a time when your dad was living. So he's clearly been gone for some time. And that's lovely that you've been able to kind of keep a piece of him in your office or.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, thanks everyone for tuning in. Tune-in next week for, as Dan pointed out, another am I the asshole debate. Have a great week.

Kelley Buttrick:

We love hearing from you, so please review us on Apple, Spotify or well, wherever you're listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please review like and follow. Also give it a share. This helps us reach more listeners.

What is that? (Listen to the end of the episode, after the credits, to find out!)

Transcript:
Kelley Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychology. Yes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hi. I'm doctor Dan MacBride and with me today and got more days than I care to actually admit is my partner, Doctor Daniel Kessler, whose intellect is always by his wit.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks, Gayle. I look forward as always to tackling yet another interesting conundrum that Michael's going to bring us. and I hear we have a bit of a recap, so that's cool.

Host: Michael:

Too, yeah. Before we plunge into the next one, we wanted to circle back around to a previous episode. Where we are dealing with a situation with a daughter who chose a birthday dinner that her brother was allergic to, and we ended up pulling our children. So yeah, why don't you start us off?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, OK. So Michael, the host and I have two children and one is 15 and I. Thought well, I'm really. Curious to hear what a 15 year old boy would say about these these options, given that our family also values going out to dinner to a or having a special birthday dinner that is identified. By one of the one of the individuals. Or by the birthday person I should say. And doing that as a family. And so I kind of I asked him and you know. He kind of thought. About it for a moment and, you know, really seemed like maybe that at home option was going to be OK. But then I think the. Wheels turned about and he was. Like, no, I think it's absolutely reasonable to request that the family go to a different place that wouldn't. Be difficult, overly difficult for one family member. He was definitely in favor of the family dinner at a place that was more amenable to everyone in the family.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. And I and I asked my kid and again that the situation, if I remember correctly, was that the older daughter wanted a seafood restaurant and the younger son was allergic to seafood, and they probably could have found something on the menu. But maybe cross contamination. But, you know, they didn't have a lot of other options. And I described the scenario to my son, my 18 year old. He was like, yeah, that's Bob. Like Mom, I'm like, why is it it's a family dinner? I mean, yeah, I want to have what I want too. But like, like you said, you know, we, you know, like my, my wife eats no meat. I generally eat eat no meat. It's like it's like if I want to go to a steakhouse and you would send it up sitting there that would that would suck. Trevor and I want this. To be a family thing. So. So I'm going to. I'm. I'm. I'm. I'm. I'm like, I'm pleased that the boy agrees with me but yeah that was you didn’t agree with us that was part of the part of why we wanted to ask our kids the Internet but always love he's like yeah I got.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Even when the Internet didn't.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like half through, he's. Like. Yeah, that's fucked. Yeah, and.

Kelley Buttrick:

Thank you.

Host: Michael:

Desk I asked our youngest spontaneously, really quick before we started. and he said there are two assholes here, one the person who chose the meal that they knew their brother couldn't participate in. And then two, the mother who ripped that away from them.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Ohh man wow. She has a 13 year old podcast.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, we really should. We should. Bring. Bring in the 13 year olds for the podcast. No, I alright. So thanks. I'm glad were able to do that, recap and circle back with our own kids. So it was kind of a fun conversation to have.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Well, welcome both of you for any of the newbies out there who don't know what we're talking about. If you're not familiar with this kind of conversation about am I the asshole? In short, someone posts this scenario just like we did, and ask readers who's the asshole here. And that's what we're going to determine today with a different situation. If you want to. Follow that one you can.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, I didn't hear this one. Yeah.

Host: Michael:

You can go back and find the previous episode and check that out, but neither Dan nor Gayle have been prompted or read this or seen it in any way, so let's go. Today's one is it's kind of a longer post, so bear with me. But I think all the pieces are kind of relevant. So the headline, the quick encapsulated version is just am I the asshole for taking a woman's wet laundry out of the community washing machine?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh man, I'm just feeling my days that I lived in an apartment here.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I'm. I'm already. I let's hear. Let's hear the details. I'm thinking how could this be a long post? It's like, you know, the laundry is. There you took. It out like I mean if it's been there for a long time, it's been there for 10 seconds. All right? But there's a long thing. Here, sorry, go ahead.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, that's right. So I live in an apartment complex with roughly 200 occupants. We share two laundry rooms with about 20 washers and dryers. 10 of each. There is an app that allows you to use these washers and dryers.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Love that there's an app for.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That too, where was that app when I was, in college in 1980.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, well.

Host: Michael:

Certainly requires fewer quarters for sure. You pay for the washing using the app and the app sends you an estimate of the washing cycle duration and a notification when your laundry is done. Excellent. That's fantastic. Other users of the app can see if and how many of the washers and dryers are currently available in use, but can't see whether there is still wet laundry in the.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I love it.

Host: Michael:

Because of the.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You know how many minutes or hours of my life I could get back if I had this? App when I was younger.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I want it wait. Yeah. Well, also they didn't have cell. Phones. When I was younger but that. Yeah, so true. Yeah. All right. God.

Host: Michael:

Because of the fact that most people work a nine to five job in our facility, these washers and dryers are mostly unused during the working hours, but are often occupied in the evenings and week. A few days ago I wanted to wash my laundry and saw that there was only one machine available. When I went downstairs, I saw that the machine had finished its cycle, but the person hadn't taken their wet laundry out yet. There was a laundry bag in front of the machine, so I took their laundry and put it in the bag and then put my own in and started the washing cycle. Well. Sometime after I got back to the apartment, our apartment complex group chat, which is another thing that would have been helpful, Imagine had blown up because apparently the woman whose laundry I had taken out was pissed that I hadn't waited for her to do it herself and started accusing whoever had done it of being a pervert.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh, that's over the line. Sorry. Go on.

Host: Michael:

I chimed in and said that it was her own responsibility to do so and that she knew exactly when her laundry would be done because of the app. And that's the only way to use these machines, that it was rude of her to assume that somebody had to wait on her when these washers belonged to everybody and that she must have thought very highly of herself to think that others would care about. For wet laundry that. Ohh no. And she got angrier and others joined her side.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. Ohh.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Really. Ohh big surprise there.

Host: Michael:

Saying I should have sent a message in the group chat and waited at least 5 minutes for her to come pick it up. I didn't respond because I didn't feel like arguing about it today. Essentially, the same thing happened again, except I sent a message that I had taken someone's laundry out of out before I put my own in and left the laundry room. People got angry at me again and said we had all agreed that people wouldn't be touching each other's laundry, but to me it seems like I didn't. Free to anything, they are also continuing the pervert thing, which I think is highly inappropriate. Personally, I feel like I'm in the right, but since so many of my neighbors agree I may be the asshole. So what do you think? Am I the asshole for taking out her laundry?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

First of all I want to say you are 100% right, Michael. All of those details are really important. So I appreciate you going through all of that to get us here today because I think there's there's a lot of butter here. And do you want do you want?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. To start. Oh, there's there's. Oh, there's so much. There's. There's so much here. I mean, on on, on the. Case of this is a fairly simple question. I. Gosh, I mean so, so. It's not I having lived in. I haven't done this since I lived in a dorm, you know, a long time ago. But it was. It was fairly common to go into the dorm laundry room and have. If you didn't get your stuff, the laundry would be stacked up like people would take the wet stuff and they put it on top of a different machine and they put their shit in and wash it. It was not unusual to go down there. Now we have a group chat, but then I, you know, I lived in a Coed dorm and some of the girls sometimes did say that some of their undergarments went missing sometimes. and so you. No. I her her her speculation in this story that the guy's a pervert. I mean it is not without basis in in.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, we don't know the gender of the individuals here. We don't know the gender of the of the individual who is put, had laundry. In the machine. We're making some assumptions and we do.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You know the gender. Of the person laundry is this was a woman.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That that was doing her laundry.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The first, the one that. Was left in the machine.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

OK, so we know that person's a woman, but we don't know that the poster is male, right?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I don't know if we know that. I think we're making an assumption. The poster is that based on.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I think we're making an assumption based on.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The accusation that the that the.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Herbert Herbert. Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, I think that's.

Host: Michael:

OK, so sorry, there is actually we're clarification so people ask for information. So the poster does clarify a couple of things. So let me read that really quick.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Please.

Host: Michael:

To answer some questions, I didn't wait in either case, so did you wait? Was one of the questions that came up. There's no way for me to know how long the laundry was done since the app either says there's a machine available or not. As to why didn't we? It feels weird for me to stand around the laundry room for 5 minutes every time I want to do laundry, when the person who cares about others not lying touch the laundry can show up 5 minutes earlier, small inconvenience touch their laundry for two seconds. Also, I am male and I assume the pervert thing is because there was underwear in there or something. But honestly, I didn't look.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

OK, OK. So our great.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Your assumptions were correct. Please. Yeah, OK.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

What do you think?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You know it is it is problematic. This app and the Community chat have some really beneficial opportunities that I think are being overlooked by the poster. Except I think that the poster also has some legitimate points here. You know, you and I have already. We talked about the fact that we have waited for laundry machines in one form or another and that it wasn't uncommon for someone to forget about, move on, get, you know, just not get back to the laundry machine. And so you take the little clothes out and you put it on the top. And that's the thing that happened. And I know I've certainly been in that position. Absolutely. I think there is a level of justification and impatience on the posters part, though you know that it does seem to be he's saying not reasonable to wait. And because I don't know, I shouldn't have to wait. And I do find that a little problematic and a little impatient. Given that you are living in a community living situation, it is unfortunate and maybe maybe a future future feature. There we go of the app to indicate how long the machine has been stopped. Because in those situations I think you do need to be responsive to getting down and getting your laundry out, especially because others may be maybe waiting.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. I'm a little troubled by assumptions here.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Mm-hmm.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

There's the first assumption is that he's a pervert because he took her laundry out and there's an accusation thrown for the second assumption, he said something and I'm just now, I'm blanking, you know? He said something really harsh. like he jumped all over her and got very entitled and. And I'm not that's not OK like everyone I think had an opportunity to make a positive whenever we you know we work with couples in relationships all the time and we're always telling people to make make positive assumptions wherever you can about people's behaviors. and it sounds like everyone in here, the original poster, the person whose laundry was left and everyone in the building, made negative assumptions about everyone else.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Absolutely. And we tend to do that in social psychology, right? If you don't actually know someone else, they're your out group and you make more negative assumptions about people who don't belong to your group. And I think that's what's happening here is just a simple social social psychology phenomenon.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Bye. Yeah, everyone just went well. He must have been doing this for nefarious reasons. Instead of like I'm picturing dude going downstairs and going. Ohh geez. And all. They're shutting machine and I'm tired. I just wanna get my laundry going. and Imagine her being upstairs. And the thing being off, just like I am right in the middle of something. I want to finish up what I'm doing. I got this e-mail. I got to send to my boss or I'm I'm, you know, I'm. I'm I'm working on this project for. For for school if. They're college or whatever. I will get down there in like, 10 frigging minutes. Like and, but it should be fine. Imagine both of them. In that place, you know.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I think that they were probably both right. That's right at this point.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And he goes. Yeah, neither of them were. Neither of them are wrong to start out with.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Now I think they both took a negative term that was that was completely unnecessary here. Their initial behavior wasn't necessary, though. She's not a terrible person for leaving her laundry, and therefore what it might have been two or three minutes, it might have been 15. He's not terribly wrong for going OK. I got to get my shit going and let me do this.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And I'll let people know. UM, and then they they all go South with negative assumptions and harshness and cross accusations that are that they just just just spur on such such hostility.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You know, in my office when we have these kind of opportunities to talk with people about how they communicate, especially in high conflict or potentially high conflict situations. I mean, the first thing I'm going to tell someone is don't name call, you know, to name, call someone to call someone a pervert is not useful. It's not going to produce it. A helpful or productive conversation. And so I think that's one of the first places this goes South. Now, I do appreciate that the poster chimed in the Community and Tom said it's me and put his hand up in the air and owned it. I think that was. It was a helpful thing. Unfortunately, of course, it came back to kind of bite him in the alphabet. But you know, I think.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, but with some protection.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

But only it was sorry.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

With cross accusation.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yes, I mean, he didn't own it in a particularly mature way, added added to the little fire that began and to use your word from another episode, you know, created a conflagration where you have this whole community now weighing in and up. In arms, when it wasn't their laundry and they need to just shut the hell up and let 2. People you know this, it's a community issue. But right now it it it is. It is two people negotiating something that happened that was unfortunate and they needed to have maybe taken that offline and had a more productive conversation instead of doing it in this public forum and sort of akin to yelling in the streets when the neighborhood is quite busy and shouting at each other. It's not. It's not useful. It's not going to produce anything that's constructive.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, and I. and I. I just. That there wasn't. A great opportunity for him to say I am. I am I. I just wanted to get laundry done and I don't mean to offend like he could have. Like, I you're right. I should have sent a text before doing something. Especially the second time. Like I could have sent a text before doing this. and that would have been the right thing to have done and he missed an opportunity to, to really come in and be like the like, like a reasonable person. I also, you know, if I opened up and I'll be honest, if I opened up a washer and I was in a I've only done had the situation with the shared washer like this in the. Dorm or or a single gender dorm? But if I. If I went into a dorm that both men and women in the laundry, I would be more hesitant to pull the laundry out if it I opened it up and it was, it was obviously a woman's laundry probably would hesitate a bit because I wouldn't want her. Like she may not want her things touched by this by by some random dude, and that could be really uncomfortable for her. And I think there's. that, it's reasonable to say, hey, you know. As a as a as a man, maybe you should pause here, because just like this may feel like this is going to feel like. I could feel like a violation to her. And it obviously did so like I would probably wait longer if I opened it up and there were obviously, you know, stereotypical female clothing versus stereotypical male clothing in there. I just think there's too many opportunities there to, yeah, across the boundary that would make someone else feel uncomfortable and. I'm OK with my feeling and comfortable with having to wait five more minutes or 10 minutes versus they're feeling uncomfortable that maybe something was they. Were violated in some way.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. No, I completely agree with that. I think as a woman having had my laundry in the machine and maybe taken out and I can't remember specific instance, but I can I can absolutely affirm that's just it seems strange to have your laundry touched by anybody else of any gender. It feels it feels very revealing because of course the clothing. In there that other people don't see and don't experience unless they are intimate with you. And so I do find it problematic, even though I've been on the other side of. You know, literally this laundry has been sitting here for an hour or more. And so now we're not just in the middle of something and I can't quite put this down and I'm getting to it it. It feels more almost egregious that the laundry has been sort of neglected. And in those cases where I've waited, certainly have taken things out. And you know, you kind of do it with that, you know, I'm just not going to look at the entities and whatever else is in there and try to give them some privacy, but you really can't because you're, you know, hauling, sopping wet laundry out. And, yeah, I think it's problematic.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

I think that I mean I would. I would have encouraged him to wait.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Absolutely.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Knowing now that there's a group, knowing that we got along the way, there's a group chat like send a message to the group chat hand can do laundry if anyone's almost done, or if your laundry's gone off. I'd really appreciate if you came down and got it out or if it's there. Hey, shoot back a message here and I'll go ahead and pull. It. Out if you're OK. With it you know.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. Yeah. Great ways to do that for sure.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Very important thing to do would have had the opportunity. Then she might have said, Oh yeah, or she might like that I'll be down in a minute. Like, can you wait like five? Yeah. OK. You know, there are so many. I often say like most ROM coms could be resolved by like a good conversation 8910 minutes into it and then like all credits because it's done that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, yeah. Right. No one would watch that because it would be too reasonable.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, like, oh, we could all be grown-ups about this and I think there was an opportunity for, for, for, for him to act like a grown up and send a message. I think she could have voiced her complaint. Maybe without, as you mentioned, without the name calling. like, hey, that felt like a violation to me. I really don't like when people touch my clothing. It would have been right for you to waited longer, I think would have been a better response. But his response should have been to send the. Message to the group chat.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yes, and I suspect maybe, you know, she said. I didn't agree to nothing. Like, I get that you didn't agree the communities imposing this on you. and I totally. I totally can feel you on that on that particular point, but I do wonder if they had had a more productive, constructive first conversation. If you would have been more inclined to follow the communities, ask to send the message, right, if you're called a perv and you're made to feel about two inches big, like, that's not cool, and you're less likely to follow along with the established norms of your community. As opposed to, you know what you the way you said it, which was much more kind and polite and productive, he might have been like, yeah, alright, I'll send a message. Yeah, I do find it problematic that the community coached him. And what the what? The behavior expectations were of a community member and. He was like. Yeah, not doing that. Yeah, so.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Like at the beginning he starts out with being kind of impatient when he could have had another better choices. Then he becomes a dick when he. Really gets snarky with the community, but the third thing when he did it a second time and then sent the message afterwards. Now he's firmly crossed the line into you're an asshole cause that was a fuck you that was A and that's and it was laundry in there and I took it out this time again. So whoever it is come down here and get it like that was a that was a that was a dick move.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

It was absolutely.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. So like there's no that was unequivocal. His response was was was definitely in the asshole territory, but he really gets unequivocal down the road. So let me. Michael has something to say.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

All right, now we're. We're, we're.

Host: Michael:

Let's let me let. Me ask you something really quick that comes up in this from from the feedback and I'll I'll get into what the Internet says, but one of the things that ended up being a very interesting kind of side conversation. Question is, how long do you wait like 5 minutes? Is it 10 minutes? Is it 15 minutes and there was a lot of discussion about you know how? How can you know? Like when does that clock start and so like if you had to put a number on that like what is the socially appropriate length of time to wait?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

10.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Oh, how many? 10 minutes? I'm total. That's what I was going to say too. Damn. I wanted to be different than you. I think 5 minutes would be my preference is just a good community member, but 15 feels like too much, right? And five is not a reasonable expectation. Expectation. You've got parents that are living in buildings like this and.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

10 minutes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Lots of other things, I think 10 minutes if you're. If you're in that window, you should get some.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Grace. Yeah, I could see. I could totally see myself throwing a lot of laundry and going upstairs and cooking dinner. I got something I got like, I got. I just throw the pasta in. I don't want to go downstairs and do that. Let me. Let me let me flip the laundry or let me flip the laundry after I throw the pasta and I got. Now I know I've got 8 minutes. Whatever. Like I can do that I can totally see that I think 5 minutes is not enough, but by 15 minutes you should get you down self down there and do it so yeah. And that to me seems very reasonable but they definitely need to add that feature because they could it's connected, it knows when it stops it would be very reasonable and then they can set a community rule. Listen at 10 minutes.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

But this is so easy. This is the miss on the app.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Nobody touches your clothes until 10 minutes. But at 10 minutes. It's on you. I think that would be a very reasonable Community rule. I'm setting it right now. For them, yeah.

Host: Michael:

I. I like it. Yeah, they they.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That's their new official. Rule and whoever wrote the app, fix the damn thing.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Thank you. Because they could, it would.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Be I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. A techie person. Like that but. If you know that it stopped and you sent a message, you know when the message was sent, it would be very easy functionality to add to an app like that to know. How long it's been, yeah, right.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. and I would, I would go a step further. I mean, clearly there's communication between the washer and dryer and that app. So maybe the door stays low. Until 10 minutes after something like that so.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Wow.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Except for the person who has the app.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah, that's really great.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah, like that a lot. And then once it. Then once it unlocks your fair game.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yes.

Host: Michael:

Yeah, but it was I loved. I loved seeing the little nuanced conversations about like what? What is enough, you know. And when does that clock begin? You know, so if you're up in your apartment and you didn't notice that your.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Ohh man. Bye.

Host: Michael:

Laundry stopped 10 minutes ago, but you react within 5 minutes of that time. You know, like that clock begins at different times, and anyway, it's really difficult.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

5 minutes of when you’re having lunch when you notice your laundry is done. Yeah, that could be an hour and a half later.

Host: Michael:

To pin that down. Right.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That's not cool. Yeah.

Host: Michael:

And the somebody defending the poster. Said one thing we don't know is when this happened, like you mentioned, people worked 9:00 to 5:00. If you happen to have the day off and you went downstairs at noon and there is a laundry, you know, there's laundry in there. It's a safe assumption based on everything you've told us that perhaps that's from last night and somebody didn't get it out. But again. Kind of playing the assumption game it’s hard to.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

And my assumption was that were actually doing it during a higher traffic time. Because clearly this was the only washer available and the other nine washers were occupied and probably currently running. So this said to me that were probably working on an evening or a. Weekend here, when? When?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Evening and weekend. So yeah, I mean, I just, I just this so underscores how how much, how many opportunities people miss to make a positive assumption or even a neutral assumption as opposed to making a negative assumption. And I guess I what an what an unfortunate turn of events here this was. That you know, dude is impatient. And then then the names get thrown out and then and then he responds really negatively and harshly. And then the community responds negatively and harshly, and everyone misses out on a great opportunity here. I don't think he was right to take laundry in the 1st place. But you know, I don't know that he was an asshole for doing that. But you know, you could have made a. Choice. But then everyone just sort of acts unkind. Now, the original poster, by the way, is the biggest is the asshole here for sure.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

So we're into the ruling phase of this discussion.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Ohh. I'm yeah, yeah. Alright, let's Michael.

Host: Michael:

No, that's fine, absolutely. I mean, I mean absolutely, Dan. So he's an asshole. Yeah, we're.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You can ask.

Host: Michael:

Where are you at?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

I agree. I think everyone sucks here, so I'm going to I'm going to pass that out. I just think he sucks more than everybody else because of the big fuck you that he gives and how he handles it after sort of being corrected and his hostile first volley with the, with the community. He had an opportunity to kind of keep it a little bit more aboveboard. He missed a number of opportunities, so I think he's the biggest asshole here, but everybody sucks.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Yeah, I think I agree, I. Think everyone missed an opportunity? The to make a positive assumption every missed an opportunity to at least be kind and respectful in a community. But he was the biggest he. Was the asshole.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. And I do think again, social psychology tells us how these humans are going to behave, because with that level of anonymity in a group chat like that, like you show up with a name but not you're not really known. And so it does become sort of safer to air.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Mm-hmm.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

About your grievances and less than kind and polite ways on these kinds of forums. With that, with that assumption of anonymity, and we know that when you're anonymous to an individual, you are more inclined to hurt them with that increased distance between you and the others. So I really do think there's ingroup.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Ohh yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Out group stuff going on here and then there's stuff that is supported in the literature about our willingness to hurt someone at a distance.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh, absolutely. Gosh, we can go back to, we don't we're going, are we going back to Stanley Milgram in the 1950s? And the stock experiments sentence of killing the guy? Yeah.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yes, absolutely. Like our.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

He had naturally.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Not really. Nobody was actually killed in that experiment. It was just good actors.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

We've got two children, great experiments to read about, though, but we've got that piece. We've got the, the, the tragedy of the Commons, which was my favorite thing from when I didn't sleep through my sociology class, this idea that everyone thinks that they're doing their fair share. And everyone thinks that they're only taking their fair portion. But if everyone takes their fair portion, you run out. Early and if everyone pays in their fair share, you come up short and nobody is going to screw it. That's the most fascinating thing is nobody. When you have the group check. No one is trying to screw anyone else, and everybody thinks they put in their fair share, but you always come up short. And you know.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Happening.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

And everyone thinks they put in their fair share, plus some because they're kind. I just find that to be such. A fascinating phenomenon. And everyone thinks they have this much use of the washer entitled and. and we make these assumptions that really aren't like we think. We're being fair or not?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah.

Host: Michael:

So this one unlike some of our other ones was much more divisive on the Internet. There were lots of most people pointed to initially. He's not the asshole for moving the clothing, like that's fine. Most people were like you should have waited. You should have given them 5 to 10 minutes. Some people said 15. But not the asshole for moving the clothing. You're an asshole for how you reacted and then behaved. And the fact that you then repeated the behavior again really solidifies the fact that you're an asshole.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh, yeah, right. Yeah. Well, we agree. We agree. With the Internet this time, that's actually.

Host: Michael:

Remarkable. Wonderful. Some people did say everybody sucks here. A few other people said not the asshole, and they were definitely in the.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That is.

Host: Michael:

Wordy and in fact several people commented that they were secondary accounts of the original poster, like coming in and like feeding stuff in because they were created relatively new and they're burner accounts best possibly.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh, so this. All like came in in China on his own thread. To defend himself.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. And they because they cited like specific things. And anyway it was, it was kind of funny, a bunch of them been deleted now. So that's one of the things I love about the Internet is just kind of wild. It can be like that.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

But if you got to defend yourself that way. Yeah. Not OK, dude. Yeah, I think we can. I think in this case, we can agree with the Internet pretty, pretty soundly that, yeah, not not cool, not cool.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Well, thank you both for another riveting debate and a glimpse into the collective consciousness of the Internet forums. Remember, morality is often shades of Gray, and not just black and white.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right. Truth can be stranger than fiction, so stay true. Stay strange.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. And stick around next. You know, please, like, share, follow all that stuff. But we're going to be back next week with another really. The interesting one, and I say that having actually no idea.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Because we don't know ahead of.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Time, but I'm guessing it's going to be super interesting because Michael is great at picking these up for us. So yeah, tune, tune. Tune back. Know. In next Wednesday.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. And as Dan said, please follow and share Veritas views on any of the podcast platforms with your neighbors and friends. As always, stick around through the credits for the bonus conversation about the seemingly random items in therapist's office and the stories behind those objects.

Kelley Buttrick:

You can follow Doctor Dan Kessler @drdankessler and Dr. Gayle MacBride @drgmacbride. Oh, and you can find them both at VeritasPP.com. Credits. Tickling the ivories, Matthew Redington. Art production and design bringing the show together with flair and finesse, Michelle Love. Recording and editing, turning chaos into something worth sharing, Michael MacBride. Intro/outro, I'm Kelley Buttrick a VO talent who just happens to be Doctor MacBride's cousin. Cats: CJ, Linus, Sadie and Griffin. Hosting by whomever lost the coin flip. Interruptions by all their children. The content of this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Listening to this podcast does not constitute a therapist client relationship. If you believe you may be experiencing a mental health issue, please seek the assistance of a qualified. Mental health professional if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call or text 988 from anywhere in the US to be connected to crisis mental health services.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for listening. As promised, here is the bonus conversation.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Gale. Gayle, you've got a photo like or drawing in your office like it's an older black and white picture, or it looks like an older one. Is this black and white? What's the? What's the scoop with?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

That so I assume your your picture you're talking about. The picture of the nurse. I'm a psychologist. Why do I have a nurse nurses picture?

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yes, yes. Why do you have a nurse in your office? If yours like thought it. Yes, I didn't know it. I didn't know who it was. Honestly, I'm like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Right, that is my. Right. Yeah. No, she she's. That's my mum's mom. She graduated. That was her nursing school. Graduation. Yeah. OK.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

We show the picture to everyone if we sit through all this on YouTube, grab the picture.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Well, this is my this is my mom's mom. Lots of reflection there. Sorry guys. That was her nursing school graduation photo and I keep it in here one.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Please.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Because I think it's. Quite beautiful. It's rendered slightly, but it's probably faded with age and I love the fact that my grandmother was having a family starting in 1944 and she worked as a nurse. And women didn't work outside the home, let alone necessarily have an identity as a, you know, as a professional. And she maintained her identity as a nurse until she died, when she was 90. and I just really admire that as, as you know, kind of a really strong female role model. So I keep her.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Oh.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

OK.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Excellent. That's really cool. Thanks for sharing.

Host: Michael:

Yeah. Thank you for tuning in and tune-in again next week. As Dan said, for another riveting am I the asshole debate.

Kelley Buttrick:

We love hearing from you, so please review us on Apple, Spotify or well, wherever you're listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please review like and follow. Also give it a share. This helps us reach more listeners.

What is that? (Listen to the end of the episode, after the credits, to find out!)

Transcript:
Kelley Buttrick:

Well, hey there, you've stumbled upon the intersection of Internet quandaries and psychological insight. Welcome to Veritas Views on AITA, where the quirks of the Internet meet the expertise of Veritas Psychology Partners.

Host: Michael:

Thanks for joining us. I'm your host, Michael MacBride, and I'm joined by our dynamic duo of psychologist.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Hi. I'm doctor Gayle MacBride and with me today is and really most days is my partner, doctor Daniel Kessler, whose intellect is matched only by his wit.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Thanks, Doctor MacBride. Looking forward to another interesting conundrum for us to pick apart.

Host: Michael:

Great. Well, welcome both of you for the newbies out there. If you don't know, what am I? The asshole is, in short, someone post the scenario and ask readers who's the asshole here. And that's what we're going to help determine. Neither Dan nor Gayle have read or seen this before. So let's go. Today's prompt is. Am I the asshole for making my daughter choose a different restaurant for her birthday meal other than the one she really wanted?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You know, this is hard as a parent. Sometimes kids pick really crappy choices.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No, it's like, no, I'm not eating. There you have like.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Any choice? OK, we should probably hear what the choice actually was before we. Start weighing in but.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Sure. But you know, I mean, judging books by its cover, that's, which is not something we would ever do in our therapy offices.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Never.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

You want to hear the. Full story. So let's get the full story.

Host: Michael:

I do love the knee jerk reactions, though. It's always kind of funny to see what you guys immediately think.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

That I mean it is something we struggle with in, in, in, in therapy as well. I mean someone comes in and they start with something and you're like wait, I've got to hear the full story I need to. I need to really hear them through and I think that's a really useful thing. Do something to practice or practicing it here.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

Yeah. Oh, oh, good. I like that. That's what happened. Excellent.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Good. Go ahead, Michael, please tell. Tell us a. Story.

Host: Michael:

I'll give you the rest. OK, so this is what it says my. I guess the poster is 39 year old female. Her daughter just recently had her 17th birthday. Her husband, who's 42 male, and I told her to pick out a restaurant that she would like to take her to for her birthday. She chose a seafood restaurant. We'd never been to before and looking over the menu I saw that the vast majority of the dishes contain shellfish. There were a few fish on trays as well as some surf and turf, but there were only a couple non seafood dishes. Our Sun 15 is deathly allergic to shellfish. He can't stand fish. There are only a couple dishes that he could actually eat. I didn't want to take him there because I knew that he really wouldn't enjoy. His meal, and I was worried about cross contamination. I told my daughter that this restaurant wouldn't work and that she'd have to pick a different. My son said that he would be fine just staying home and that we could use the money that we would have spent on his meal to order him a pizza instead. But.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

No. Although 15 year old boy is that that, that.

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

He's like, oh, I thought we need to stay home at.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

The time, yeah, that math that does that does math. That doesn't matter. Yeah, 15. I've having been a 15 year old boy once like, eat a whole pizza and stay home alone. Might be better than going out to a nice restaurant.

Host: Michael:

That tracks.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

Yeah. Yeah. OK.

Host: Michael:

And then there is, because then the husband also insists that since it's her, their daughter's birthday that she should be able to choose the restaurant of her choice. And since the sun would be fine staying home with pizza and video games, that's what they should do. Here's the thing, though, we can only afford to go out.

Dr. Daniel Kessler:

There's more to this. Though, isn't?

Host: Michael:

Every so often as a family, when we splurge on a restaurant meal, I want both of our children there. Insisted, and my daughter chose a different place and we had a nice meal as a family. But she is still a little salty that she didn't get her first choice of restaurant. Most people I've asked Sam, run, but again we can only afford to go out every so often. Is it so wrong that I wanted to do it as a family? My daughter still had a nice birthday meal, but am I the asshole?

Dr. Gayle MacBride:

You know, I think I start with there's a lot of black and white language here and you know, both of us really listen to that. When our clients come in our office and start talking about these situations and we are really in black and white land here. And I think I would really want to explore those shades of Gray for this family. You know, there's some really salient points that need to be taken into consideration that sons definitely, you know, definitely don't know what I want to say. What that allergic. Yeah, definitely allergic. But I was anyway. And then, you know, there's also the financial constraints. And I'm really glad the poster put that in because my knee jerk reaction was take the daughter out. Jus