Confront! What I learned from Jerry Seinfeld

You probably know Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian and (obviously) the creator and star of the record-breaking 90s sitcom Seinfeld.

I didn’t know that much about Jerry, except he’s Jewish and from New York and likes fast cars. Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of his comedy and thought he was kind of full of himself, but I changed my view after listening to an interview with him on the Tim Ferriss Podcast (I feel that it’s easy to hate on celebrities, but most are more multi-faceted and smarter than we think).

I was surprised to hear Jerry describing his hypersensitivity, similar to how I experience the world: “I just feel everything a little more than I’d even like to” And how he (and other comedians) generate their comedy from their constant irritation at the outside world.

But what caught my attention even more was what Jerry said afterwards about how he managed Seinfeld which ran quite smoothly for 9 years.

“I don’t like discord and I am fearless in rooting it out and solving it.If anyone’s having a problem, I’m gonna walk right up to them and ask them: ‘Is there a problem?’I feel like if you break the human struggle down, the one word is confront.I kind of approach everything that way.”

Jerry describes himself as a searcher. He dabbled in Yoga, Zen, Meditation, Buddhism and more. “I was looking for a working philosophy in life to apply. And I kind of formed my own belief, or let’s say operating system. It’s very pragmatic, and not faith-based in any way. One of my biggest principles is confront.”

YES, that’s powerful, and something I needed to hear. Confront.

Confronting unpleasant things, in many ways, is what being an adult is about. We need to open those unpleasant letters and pay our bills. We need to make that scary call, apply for jobs and put ourselves out there if we want to get ahead. We need to take our health seriously and make doctor’s appointments instead of putting them off. If our relationships are getting toxic, we need to talk about the issues and look for solutions instead of waiting.  

Waiting can be fine, but usually waiting it out makes everything worse, and it’s the cowardly thing to do – and we know that.

You probably have several of these uncomfortable problems in your life. Life tends to serve us problem after problem, usually more the older we get. If we stop confronting those problems, everything goes downhill, usually.

Of course, we need to prioritize, and we would go crazy if we remembered all the little problems and “open tabs” in our lives all the time. But those problems we’re afraid to confront will still be in the back of our minds and stress us out a little every day, no matter what distractions and drugs we use to cope.

The unpleasant things are usually the important things (yeah I wish it was the opposite too and we could get healthy, happy and wealthy by watching Netflix and eating pizza). Maybe our inner reluctance to doing a thing should be a compass. What we avoid most is usually what matters most. In other words: The LEAST I want to do something, the MORE I should do it RIGHT NOW.

I know it’s easier said than done. Unlike Jerry Seinfeld, I tend to avoid those uncomfortable problems, unfortunately. I dislike confrontation, it makes me tear up. If I hurt someone with what I say, I’ll replay that situation in my head a million times and regret it.

There are different names for this like avoidant (relationship) type, and I haven’t figured out fully where it comes from (it’s quite obvious that it’s a self-protecting mechanism to avoid pain and a latent perfectionism, maybe being overprotected as a child).

But I won’t take the easy way out and say “this is just the way I am, it’s a condition and the world around me needs to change to accept me”. It’s hard for everyone. For some, it’s a little easier because they have good genetics and good parents, for some it’s much harder.
I want to live a simple life and solve problems quickly and pragmatically, because I know that’s essential to a peaceful, happy life.

I know it’s painful to take a good hard look at ourselves and confront what isn’t right. We much rather look at others and easy problems that we can’t really fix, like tweeting about politicians or some injustice in the world.

But we should all try, because confronting life is a muscle that can be trained, this much I know. 

🎧 Audio Version I started an audio version / podcast based on what I write here (I add some segments and ideas and ASMR, however). You can find it pretty much everywhere where you get your podcasts, such as iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify. Maybe you want to check it out (and leave a review:)

😴 What might help you find calm

Intentional ASMR Picks:

  • This was nice: A somewhat chaotic haircut session with Rapunzel ASMR
  • I always enjoy Peace and Saraity’s roleplays, like this 90s AVON Sales Rep (I’m not sure why she does those MLM ones so often but they’re good)
  • Marno’s recent trigger session was great as usual. I liked the green bubble face mask at the beginning
  • I enjoyed Matty Tingle’s new Game Store roleplay (it’s similar to the previous ones, but I’m not mad:)

💎 Hidden Gem: DireHit ASMR makes great roleplays with nice props, like this recent Cranial Nerve Exam

💜 What I’ve enjoyed:

I’ve been using CBD for a while and it’s been a game changer for falling asleep and anxiety during the day. I’ve tested a lot of products but the best and most affordable I’ve found is NatureCan (I trust their quality and they ship pretty much everywhere). I myself use the 20% CBD Oil, gummies and capsules for falling asleep, but they also have CBD snacks, lotions, pet food and more.

I asked them if I could get a discount code for my readers and they said yes, so here it is: Use Code “CALM10” at checkout for 10% off on all products (and you’ll help me out a bit too:)

Unintentional ASMR Picks: