The Break Room returns for its fourth show! Part of the Living Corporate network, The Break Room is focused on mental health, wellness and healing for Black folks at work. You can expect real talk from real experts about the real ways Black folks can protect and heal themselves from racialized trauma at work. Want to catch the next Break Room? Click here to check our schedule and sign up!
Dr. Brian Dixon (00:09): Hi, guys. Welcome to The Break Room. It’s good to see you again. So it’s been a very fun week. I am Dr. Brian Dixon. I’m one of the co-hosts of this awesome quad group of co-hosts that will bring you The Break Room each week every Thursday. I am a psychiatrist, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, with a private practice in Fort Worth, Texas, and só I get to work with kids and adults all day long, and I love my job, and I’m super happy to be here. So Dr. Jide..
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (00:46): Hi, everybody, it’s me again. It’s Dr. Jide Bamishigbin. I’m an assistant professor of psychology at Cal State Long Beach here. I’m a father of two kids, and I’m really excited to be here and talk about what we’re going to talk about today.
Dr. Brian Dixon (00:58): Yes. So, we’re super stoked that you’re here. So to reorient you to The Break Room, what we do is each week we get together and we talk about mental health in the corporate workspaces. Sometimes we’re talking about things that you can do to feel better. Sometimes we’re talking about big, broad topics about improving our workplace culture, how to be more inclusive, how to build equitable societies, and the way our podcast works is we always start off with a little bit of a “what’s the tea?”. So some of the stuff that’s been going on for the week, and we transition over to some type of topics. So either we’re teaching or we’re talking, but it gives us an opportunity to share what we know as mental health professionals. Then we slide over into audience questions.
Dr. Brian Dixon (01:43): So if you have questions, make sure to put it in the chat. And then after that we go to The Last Nerve. And so today we’re looking forward to it because Dr. Jide has some stuff to get off his chest.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (01:56): My very first Last Nerve, so I’m excited.
Dr. Brian Dixon (01:58): Yes. It is. We’re looking forward to it. And then after that, of course, we sign off with all the best wishes, but let’s get started today with ‘The Tea’.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (02:08): Okay. Let’s go ahead and get started. Okay, so this week it came out that Governor Greg Abbott, who is the governor of the great state of Texas, has decided that on March 10th, the entire state of Texas will reopen. There’ll be no more mask mandate. Businesses will be allowed to open 100% indoors as much as they feel, and this has caused a lot of uproar and fear everywhere. So, Dr. Brian, as a Texan I really value your opinion. As a Texan, what are you thinking? How are you feeling?
Dr. Brian Dixon (02:44): I’m so disappointed. It’s kind of heartbreaking because so many people… So Tammy said, “Trash, trash, trash.” Yes, I feel so. One of the things that this virus does not care about is who you are. It does not care about your politics, it doesn’t care what your skin color is. It cares about infecting people. And so the whole goal is make it hard to infect people, and he just made it easier to infect people. So yes, boooo. I’m kind of pissed. So what about you, Dr. Jide? What do you think?
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (03:15): I feel similarly. Wasn’t Texas just in a state of emergency two weeks ago? If I’m not mistaken.
Dr. Brian Dixon (03:24): Yes, freezing our ass off. Yes.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (03:26): Were we not just super, super worried about Texas as a state? And here is the leader of the state, the person who makes the final decisions as to what goes on, has decided anti-science, because if you listen to the CDC and other evidence-based places and people, they would tell you it’s not really time to reopen. Things are ramping up, which is a very good thing. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine came out. Other vaccines are available. So, many good things are happening, but I believe, if I’m not mistaken, 93% of Texans are not fully vaccinated yet.
Dr. Brian Dixon (04:00): That is correct. The last I looked, yes, 93% still need the vaccine, and it’s really frustrating because the other thing he does is he doesn’t plan anything. He’s super reactive. And só instead of going, “Hey, guys, let’s get this plan together. Let’s order people in a certain way. Let’s get these vaccines out of the door and into your arms,” no, he’s too busy playing politics and being racist. So I’m done with him. I’m over him. I want to do everything in my power to support candidates who will get him out of office.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (04:31): He needs to get out of office.
Dr. Brian Dixon (04:31): And to be blunt, I can’t stand the man. And unfortunately more people will probably die because of his ridiculousness. Whoosa.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (04:43): It’s really, really unfortunate. One of the biggest states in the country too. This isn’t a small state. This is one of the biggest states and a hub next to all the other states.
Dr. Brian Dixon (04:52): Yes. It’s frustrating. DFW Airport is one of the busiest airports in America. It’s huge, and what we do–because we’re such a big state, what we do, other states will follow. So I think Mississippi is pulling some nonsense too, and it’s just heartbreaking to see all of this accomplishment be thrown out the window. So yes, over him. Done.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (05:17): We’ve been in this a year, and we’re so close to the finish line. Can’t we all just work together?
Dr. Brian Dixon (05:23): Yes. I’m telling you–I agree with you, Dr. Jide, and that’s one of the great things about our discussion today, our topics today, is ‘Now and Later’. Well, first off, we named it this, and when I grew up, because I’m from East Texas, we called it ‘now laters’, which are those little things, those little candies in that wax paper that when it gets hot they get all melty and you can’t actually take the paper off. And so one of the goals of calling it ‘now laters’ was to give you all little nuggets of things that you can do to feel better now. So if you’re working in a space that may not feel very supportive, if you are looking to improve your mental health at work, that’s what we want to cover today, especially given all the other stuff that’s going on. And so I wanted to kick it over to you, Dr. Jide, to walk us through all of the disclaimers before we get started.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (06:18): Yes. So we’re so excited to talk about this. So just the first one, we want to let you know that we are so excited to talk about this. I’m a health psychologist and this is legitimately all we study. How can you improve your mental health and your physical health? And Dr. Brian is a psychiatrist. This is literally all he does.
Dr. Brian Dixon (06:38): All day.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (06:39): All day in person with people. So this really fits within both of our frameworks and what we do. Before we get started, I want to say four things. Four, very, very important things. One, we’re going to be giving you some tips. This is not medical or therapeutic advice. Do not sue us. That’s what that means. Please do not sue us. This is not medical or therapeutic advice. While we do think these tips are helpful for your life, if you have certain issues, or you need certain help, please go to an actual professional in your life. So that’s first and foremost. Two, we’re going to talk about lots of different solutions, but we want you to know that there is no one size fits all solution. Some of you may be parents, so some skills, some habits, some practices might not be available for you. Like sleep, for example. If you have a baby, you’re not going to sleep. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Dr. Brian Dixon (07:32): Right. True that.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (07:33): Some of you may not have that much money, and some of these things may cost money and you don’t have the money to do it, but we hope that you’re still able to take something from these pieces of advice. Three, a lot of these are going to sound so cliche. We’re going to say something and you’re going to say, “I’ve heard that before. I’ve heard that before.” Yes, well, it’s a cliche for a reason. It’s a cliche for a reason. It actually works. It actually does work to make you feel better physically and emotionally. So that’s why we’re going to talk about this with you. And finally, and this is probably the most important thing, these are tips and habits and practices for individuals. This is no substitute for the broader communal and structural issues that a lot of us face and the structural changes that need to happen to make our lives better. So I just want you to know that. We’re talking about–I’m going to label it resilience and resilience resources and things you can use to be resilient in this time, but it’s no substitute for money, actual cold hard cash. So, with that being said, we are going to get into ten tips, five each. Dr. Brian’s going to get five, I’m going to get five, and we’re going to go back and forth, all right? So, Dr. Brian, you go ahead and get started.
Dr. Brian Dixon (08:52): So my number one tip has to do with the shirt. So trust me, I’m a doctor. And then there’s this little logo–they’re not paying me for this. So Dr. Pepper, if you want to hook a brother up with some corporate sponsorship for Living Corporate, then you should totally do that. So my first tip is you eat too much. So everybody that’s listening to this podcast, I can tell you that you’re eating too much, because the research shows that the American diet has increased by 50% since, like, the ‘60s and ‘70s. And só if you want to feel better, if you want to have better performance in your workplace, here’s my tip. The night before, whatever you normally eat on your plate–make your plate like you normally do, like us Southern and Black folks do, and then you take a tupperware container, put it right beside that plate, and then you dump half of each of the food groups on that plate into that tupperware. And you take that to work the next day. And you only eat that half at night.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (09:48): Dr. Brian, that’s hard.
Dr. Brian Dixon (09:49): I know it’s super hard. I know, and I’m asking a lot, y’all, but I promise you, you will lose weight. The thing that I can not stress enough, if you want to lose weight, it’s how much you’re eating. It’s not what you’re eating. So that’s my first tip for feeling better at work. Eat less at night time and take the other half to work. I know it’s scary. You can do this.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (10:10): Okay. See, this is really not one size fits all, because I can’t do that, but that was a great tip though. Thank you. I’ll get started. My first tip is use social support. We are human beings. We’re social beings. We care about other people, and we rely on other people for many of our needs. We are in a pandemic. I can’t stress enough the fact that we are literally in a pandemic that actually has made it difficult for us to see other people in person and hang out with other people and do those things. It’s important to make sure you stay connected and lean on your friends and lean on your family when you’re dealing with troubles. A lot of research has shown that people who have more social support live longer and they’re overall healthier. They have lower levels of depression and anxiety and a whole bunch of other mental health issues. So call on your friends. Twitter, boom. Instagram, stay connected. When you’re feeling down, call somebody. I was going to sing Bill Withers’ ‘Lean On Me’ right now. You saw the look in my eye, but I stopped myself.
Dr. Brian Dixon (11:16): I did. You were so close.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (11:19): I almost did it. I’m not going to do that. But lean on your friends. Stay connected.
Dr. Brian Dixon (11:24): I love it. Well, tip number three, identify your triggers. Learn your triggers. So one of my biggest triggers is my phone going off. So, even for the podcast, I literally have to turn it on airplane mode because anytime I feel the buzz or hear that buzz, I automatically will move and do something. I’ll automatically pick up my phone. Same thing happens if you’re in social media and you see somebody likes something, or gives you a thumbs up, it triggers a release of dopamine in your brain. It automatically draws your attention to that, that place. Triggers are everywhere. Some folks have triggers for drinking. They have a really rough day at work and they come home and they immediately drink. Well, then your trigger is a stressful workplace. So you need to figure out how to manage that. It can be your kids. Kids can trigger you. People calling you, like, the folks you don’t want to talk to. When your mom or dad calls and you’re like, “Oh, God, here we go again,” and you get that sense of dread. That’s a trigger, and being able to identify those triggers is so important because they give you back control over your life, because right now a trigger is making you do stuff that you don’t want to do, and so one of the pieces of advice I give my patients is that, if you have a trigger, if it’s somebody texting or calling you, that sort of thing, instead reach out to them proactively and say, “Look, I can only talk on Thursdays at 5:00, and that’s it. If you can’t make it, I’m sorry for you, but that’s the only time I have for you.” So that then you’re not getting triggered all over the place and all over the time and building up your cortisol and stress hormones and that sort of thing. So yes. Please learn your triggers. So that’s my number three.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (13:01): That’s your number two?
Dr. Brian Dixon (13:03): Oh, technically number two.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (13:04): That’s your number two, but number three overall.
Dr. Brian Dixon (13:05): Oh, look at you. You’re keeping it straight. I like that.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (13:08): I don’t know if it’s a meaningful difference. So, my number two, number four overall, is get up. A lot of us are working at home, not everybody, and sometimes the only physical activity you got in the day was walking from the car to our office, and now we’re not even doing that anymore. We are walking from our bedroom to our dining room to do work over there. So get up. Make sure you get up exercise if you can. I understand that it is very difficult. When you’re stressed, it’s hard to exercise. But also, because you’re not exercising, that’s also making you stressed. So you have to make sure you find a way to get it in. Get up. I can’t lie. I’ve gotten in and out and in and out of shape in this quarantine. It’s happened. In and out, in and out. At the very least, try to go on a walk. Eat a quick lunch and go on a 30 minute walk around the block. Something. Granted, I’m in Southern California. The weather’s good. I can do that. But if you can, just something. Make sure you move. That just makes you feel better. It releases a whole bunch of hormones, neurotransmitters in the brain, everything, and just overall makes you feel better. Get up. Exercise.
Dr. Brian Dixon (14:31): Love it. My number three, which is technically number five, is recognize. So identify that you are a terrible therapist for yourself. So one of the things that I tell people all the time is that you’re too close to yourself to sometimes be objective. So being objective and being insightful means you step outside of yourself, you turn around and you look at what you’re doing and you go, “Huh? What is actually helpful? What am I doing that’s helpful? What am I doing that’s harmful?” Because most times we’re always doing something that actually jacks us up. And só that is super hard. I do not expect you to be your own therapist, and if you are your own therapist, you’re probably bad at it. Why? Because therapy is all about training. So I don’t fix my car. I go to somebody to fix my car. It’s not that I couldn’t probably figure it out, or that I don’t want to, it’s that mechanics have a special training in how cars work. Therapists are the exact same way. We are literally trained in human behavior, in human thought and feelings and all of these different theories, so let us help you. Don’t try to do your own therapy because most times you’re going to end up real, real frustrated, and then your self-esteem is going to plummet, and you’re going to feel worse and you feel like you can’t do anything, and I’m here to tell you you are a very capable human being. It’s just that if you try to do therapy, you will fail. So that is my next piece of advice. Some of you who work for really big corporations, you all have EAPs (Employment Assistant Programs) that you can connect with. You’re already paying for it as part of your perks and packages. So why not use it? And most of the times those therapists that work in the EAPs don’t report all your private stuff back to your HR department. They’re actually their own separate place. Or just go get a therapist, but just keep in mind you’re a bad therapist for yourself. Parents are bad therapists for their kids. You’re a bad therapist for your mama because you’re too close to her and she’s too close to you. So don’t try to do any of that stuff. If you are feeling the need, reach out to a therapist, because that’s what we do. So that’s my number three, also known as number five.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (16:30): That is great. And I also just want to add something to that. You’re not a therapist unless you’re a therapist also. Just generally, you know what I’m saying?
Dr. Brian Dixon (16:40): Preach.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (16:40): A therapist is the actual person with the job, no disrespect. You can’t even be a therapist for your friends. You can be a good friend and that’s more important, and that’s what your friend actually wants from you. To be a good friend.
Dr. Brian Dixon (16:52): Amen. Amen.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (16:53): I just wanted to add onto that because you make a really good point. Thank you. My third tip, number six, it goes on with Dr. Brian’s number one, drink water. Number one. Drink water. You have to drink a lot of water. As a human adult, you should be drinking, like, half your weight in ounces in water or something like that. It’s a crazy amount of water. You have to be drinking a lot of water. Most of us probably aren’t getting that much water. I know for myself, once I have a cup of coffee, that’s replacing my cup of water. So make sure you are drinking your water. There are water bottles which have times on it, like 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00. That lets you know how much water you should be drinking in a day. So try that to drink some water. On top of that, fix your diet. Not diet, that’s a different thing because diets do not work. All the researches has shown diets do not work. They might get you into that dress for that wedding if you want, but it’s actually not good for you. It’s actually just not good for you. It’s not good to diet. They don’t work. They’re not going to last long-term and that’s what you really want. You want a long-term healthy solution. That’s going to make you live a long life. Go ahead, Dr. Brian.
Dr. Brian Dixon (18:11): Yes. and so as you’re drinking water, as one of the HR coaches at one of the places I used to work would always harp on us, make sure your pee is clear. So, yes, while you’re at work, walk when you can, walk during lunch. I think that was tip number two or four. Walk, and then drink water. Make sure your pee is clear. That’s all I got to say about that. So, my next tip, which is tip number seven, is do what you’re good at and don’t do what you’re not good at. So, Mina, we are going to answer your question about how to deal with a stressful workplace. One of the ways to deal with a stressful workplace is to do what you’re good at and don’t do what you’re not good at. So I’m lucky to be coached in business coaching classes with lots of business coaches, and they talk about the importance of having the right butt in the right seat, and só if you are hired for a job but that job doesn’t bring you passion and enthusiasm, then you’re going to wear yourself out because you’re trying to do something that you’re not good at. And vice versa – if you’re good at something, let your boss know, let your supervisor know. Whoever’s in charge, let them know, “This is what I’m really good at. I’m really good at sales and marketing, getting leads, cold calling leads, completing leads, turning sales conversions. That’s my jam. It is not my jam to be doing audits and to do expense reports.” So that’s a different skillset. And a lot of different companies will do strength finders, or DiSC profiles, or personality profiles, that sort of thing. Use those things. If your place of work uses those scales, use them to your advantage to say, “Hey, this is what I’m good at,” but then also make sure you say, “This is what I’m not good at. Don’t give me that because that is not my strength.” And you have the right to do that. If you want to be in a place where they’re using those tools anyway, because they’re really expensive, so you may as well use them to your advantage. So yes, do what you’re good at, and then do not do what you’re not good at because you’re just going to burn yourself out, and we need as many Black folks in middle management and upper management and the C-suite as possible. So that’s my tip number four.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (20:18): Snaps to that. Play to their strengths. Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you. My next tip, and I said it a little bit earlier, but I’ll say it again. Get some sleep, get some sleep. Sleep is a third of our life. Think about that. Sleep is a third of your life. Make sure that third of your life is good. Make sure you get some sleep. Go to bed at the right time so you can wake up feeling rested. There are things that impact your sleep. So don’t do the things that are going to impact your sleep, like drinking three sodas at 9:00 p.m. right before bed. That’s going to have you up all night. It’s going to disrupt your sleep. Doing drugs before bed. Those kinds of things will interrupt your sleep. So please make sure you get some sleep.
Dr. Brian Dixon (21:15): Amen.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (21:15): And in general rest is good. It’s good to just rest and have days where you’re not doing anything, even if you’re not sleeping. You’re just not doing anything. Maybe read a book, just rest. Time and space for your body to recoup. I honestly don’t even think we should be working five days a week. That’s a lot, but we are, and we only have those two days, and use those two days to rest. But regardless, that third of your life that you’re sleeping, make sure you’re getting some good sleep.
Dr. Brian Dixon (21:43): So, Dr. Jide, you bring up a really good point. I’m going to piggyback on that. I’m going to let you Google it. Will you Google The Nap Ministry so you can tell me what that website is?
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (21:54): Yes.
Dr. Brian Dixon (21:54): So The Nap Ministry is a young Black lady who is doing the thing, and so her motto is rest is resistance. And so we cannot do the work that we need to do to promote anti-racism, to promote health equity, to promote equity at all, if we’re tired. And we’re always tired, all the time, because most times we’re running and fighting wars and battles that we don’t need to be fighting. So rest is resistance. Get your sleep, get your eight hours, make sure you hydrate. Don’t drink caffeine before bed. Remember, when you’re eating half of what you normally eat at night time so you can take the other half to work, your body won’t feel so heavy, and so you’ll wake up in a much better mood. And at the end of the day, you will be more rested. So yes. Get your sleep. Rest is resistance. And it’s thenapministry.wordpress.com. And so she is awesome. She has this hotline thing where you can literally call once a week and she’ll change the message. Kind of like dialing 4-1-1 back in the day to ask for time and temperature, but yes, she’s awesome. I’ve heard her speak and she’s phenomenal. And so I offer that resource as well. So next step. My number five is a tip. I know you all about to get crunk on this one, but I need you to plan, but not go on vacation. Now, let’s unpack this. So the research is showing that when they did a big study and they watched people and how they felt when they put in their PTO and then the lead up to the vacation and then how they felt on vacation and then how they felt when they got back, and the one place in that spectrum where other people felt, like, the most free and excited and less stressed was the lead up to vacation, but not actually going on the vacation.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (23:53): Interesting.
Dr. Brian Dixon (23:53): Yes. And so there’s literally nothing stopping any of us from planning our next vacation. So yes, sit down, get on one of the major websites. If there was a Black travel agent, I would totally plug them here, but I don’t know of any, so if you know of any, please let us know. But yes, go ahead and plan your vacation. “I’m going to the British Virgin Islands. I’m going to do this. This is where I would stay,” yada yada yada, plan the whole thing. And then if you don’t go, that’s totally fine, because remember it’s the lead-up, it’s the anticipation that can sometimes actually help us with stress. Now, if you do go on vacation, make sure you choose a really safe spot, mask up. I would say stay home until you get your vaccine, but to each his own. But yes, it’s that idea that it’s the anticipation that is so powerful to the human psyche. So, I would say yes, sit down and anticipate your next vacation.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (24:44): That’s nice. I will do that. My last trip got canceled because of the Coronavirus, and that didn’t quite feel good, so I don’t know. It’s different. It’s different. And our last and final tip, my last tip and our last tip overall.. It’s really important. I’m going to soothe my voice right now. I’m going to calm down. Make sure you have some self-compassion for yourself. We are in a pandemic. Most of us probably have never been in a pandemic before. Unless you were here years ago for the Spanish flu pandemic, most of us have never been in a pandemic before. This is new territory and new ground for all of us. And this is America. “What do you mean I can’t go somewhere? What do you mean there’s a line outside my local grocery store?” This is so different from what we’re used to, and it’s really affected our daily lives and our daily functioning. So have some compassion for yourself. If you’re a parent, you’re doing the best you can in the circumstances. Your kids have been home a year, and that year, it’s great. You get to see them grow. You love them, but also, this is not what we expected. Have some self-compassion. Love yourself. Understand that this is tough for you, for me, for all of us, and we all get through it together. Please be kind to yourself.
Dr. Brian Dixon (26:11): So one of my favorite quotes is, “Progress is beating yourself up a little less every day.” And so when I am not so hard on myself, the next day I go, “Good job, Brian,” because yes, we hold ourselves up to a really high standard, and in one of our other podcasts, make sure to go check it out, we talked about John-Henryism and what that means, because we’re trying to overachieve, we’re trying to overcome inequities by what we do. And so yes, be nice to yourself. Be kind to yourself, take some time for yourself. So I love those tips, and this is where we transition over to questions from the audience, and you all have sent some good ones. And Mina has been so patient, she’s been so very patient, so I want to get her question for her. Dr. Bamishigbin, her question was, “Do you have any tips on how to deal with the stressful workplace and entitled capitalism?” Boom!
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (27:08): Oh, boy. Yes. That is a doozy of a question. Okay. Tips for dealing with the stressful workplace. Number one, I would say, just know that the workplace is not toxic–I’m going to connect it back to self-compassion. It’s not your fault this workplace is toxic. So don’t go home feeling beat down by yourself. “Oh, my God, I didn’t do this. I’m not worthy. I don’t work here,” blah, blah, blah. It’s not you, it’s the workplace. So just understand that first in going in. Two, social support. I wish I could say just leave that job. I know that’s not really an option for everybody. That’s not an option for most people, “Just leave that fucking job.” No. I know that that’s not really an option for everybody. Have some self-compassion to know that it’s not you. Find the rewarding parts of it for you if you can. Rely on social support and your friends to help you get through it. This is an important part, particularly as a Black person or a person of color. Document everything. So if part of what’s happening is gendered harassment or discrimination, racial harassment, discrimination based on sexual orientation, all these different things, keep track of all of that stuff. And boom! Lawyer. Get you a lawsuit if you can, if you have the resources to do that, but document. Tammy, thank you. Document, document, document every little interaction that makes you feel even slightly, a little… “Huh.” Document it.
Dr. Brian Dixon (28:40): Agreed. And so stressful workplaces, because I own a couple businesses now, and one of the things that I’ve learned in being a business owner and working for other people, it’s all in the systems. And so in my private practice, I build systems, and I have a person that’s in charge of building processes. So this is how A gets to point D, and if there’s some kind of screw up in there, then I build a better system or revamp a system or whatever. So if a system that you’re working in is really shitty, it’s because there’s somebody at the head who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. I’ll just be honest, and I don’t know if it’s middle management or the head, but somewhere in there it’s rotten. If you feel like dealing with rotten systems, then yes. You just acknowledged that system is rotten, and “I’m going to stick here and get mad and get my coins and get my check, and I’m just going to go home.” If you feel that you can effect change, then there is a system to effect change. So either you have some type of incident report or you have some type of team meetings once a week. You have to speak up. Now, keep in mind that, especially for African-American or Black folks and black women especially, you’re going to be under a microscope. So when you do speak up, just know that what you say is going to be taken probably in a slightly different way, but I’m going to encourage you to speak up nonetheless. Be poised. Be succinct. You don’t have to go into a whole bunch of detail, just state your case, document everything like Tammy said. Document, document, document. And then know that there’s always another business that has a different system. So, there’s a reason why businesses go out of business. There’s a reason why K-Mart no longer exists, because they were a shitty business. They had shitty business practices. When you treat people like shit, then those stores tend to fold. Now, Walmart is its own thing. But, you know, there’s a reason why I like shopping at Target versus other places. And no place is perfect. And so, yes, my tip is recognize where you can effect change. So find out how to do that, either through team meetings or whatever, and make the change that you can. I’m very much like Dr. Jide. I learned a long time than I am a terrible employee, because I’m like, “Nope, that’s wrong, and that’s wrong, and that’s not efficient, and you’re wasting my time,” and as a result I went from job to job, and at my last job I got written up. And again, it wasn’t because of what I was doing, it was because I was “disruptive and non-collegial,” whatever the hell that means as I’m sitting on this podcast cussing. Just know that at the end of the day, every place has a system. The next question is…
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (31:18): Let me ask you this question, because you’ll have a better answer than me.
Dr. Brian Dixon (31:24): Oh, yes.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (31:24): Thank you, Justin, for asking this question, by the way. Can you explain the “be a good friend” concept versus therapy and maybe versus coaching? And clues for when and where being a friend ends and therapy should be considered? That’s such a good question. Thank you, Justin.
Dr. Brian Dixon (31:39): It is a super good question, and I’m sure I’m going to screw it up, but I’m going to do my best. And so how I conceptualize therapy, from friends, from coaching, in therapy, your therapist accepts you no matter what, but they will also tie what you’re doing to established human behavior. And so, in other words, if you’re doing something that is outside of the norm for your age, culture, gender role, like, your work role, whatever you are doing at your work, if you’re doing something or feeling something that’s outside, they’re going to tell you that. They’re going to go, “Huh. Well, you know…” And “Generally people would feel this way, but you feel this way. So how do you make that jive?” And so, in other words, the therapists won’t mince words if you’re kind of outside of wherever is expected. Now, when it comes to your friends, your friends are going to love you no matter what. Sometimes they’ll tell you the truth, but most times they won’t. They’ll be like, “Ooh, girl,” and “Oh, boy, I would do such and such,” even though sometimes you may actually be in the wrong. So that’s what a friend does, and so a friend cannot be fully objective in my opinion because they’re looking out for your best interests. Now, therapists are looking out for your best interests too, but it’s a different type of objectivity because they’re matching you to established psychological norms. And then coaching, I’m not as good with coaching. Coaching is far more advice-driven, I think. It’s support, but they kind of nudge you in a certain way, whereas in therapy, when I do therapy–and I’d love to hear from you, Dr. Jide–when I see most therapists do therapy, they let you find your own answers, and if it takes you 12 sessions to find the answer, then it takes you 12 sessions, whereas in coaching it very much is, “Hey, here’s a scale. Here’s a form. Let’s see what your interests are. Let’s push you towards one thing or another.” And so that’s the difference between therapy and a good friend and coaching. Hopefully that made some kind of sense. I don’t know. Dr. Jide, does that make sense?
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (33:35): I think that made perfect sense. I mean, you’re the psychiatrist. You would know so much better than me. I would say the biggest difference is just that the therapist has a job. You know what I’m saying? A therapist has a job and received a certain level of training to reach that job. They have their bachelor’s, they have their MFT, they have their MA in council. They have some type of degree that makes it such that they’re eligible to provide therapeutic services. That’s the big distinction. And coaching, there are good coaches, people who’ve changed other people’s lives. I don’t want to discount that, but there’s less regulations surrounding that.
Dr. Brian Dixon (33:40): Correct.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (33:40): I guess right now all of us can decide right now that we’re coaches, and that’s just something to be aware of. Listen, I love me some Iyanla: Fix My Life.
Dr. Brian Dixon (33:40): She’s something.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (33:40): She’s something, but she’s a coach. That is an example of a coach.
Dr. Brian Dixon (34:35): I thought she was a therapist. Is she not a therapist?
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (34:38): I believe she’s a lawyer.
Dr. Brian Dixon (34:39): Oh, okay. Okay. Yes, because, I mean, there’s different types of therapy. When I say there are over a hundred different modalities–so I do mainly three, but nowhere in the therapy that I’m trained do I hit the table and yell at people. That is not therapeutic to me. I’m guessing some people do that, but to me that would be more coaching. It’s very like a coach behaves. Work harder, drive and [?], and that’s not me.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (35:05): Not on your watch.
Dr. Brian Dixon (35:09): Yes, not on my watch.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (35:09): Not on your watch. Got it. Got it. Got it.
Dr. Brian Dixon (35:10): I love it. And so, the other question was, what was the link to the podcast? thenapministry.wordpress.com. So check her out. She is super busy, and that was a little bit of shade, Mina, because one of the hard parts–and this’ll be my soapbox just a little bit–is that since people misunderstand therapy they’re afraid of it, and so as a result people are missing out on feeling better. And every doctor on this podcast–so Dr. LaWanda, Dr. Nikki, Dr. Jide, and myself–we all want you all to feel better. So that’s why we’re doing this.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (35:46): Period. Period.
Dr. Brian Dixon (35:46): And só don’t be scared of us. And so I think that’s all the questions that I saw in the chat.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (35:55): Those are all the questions. That was it. That was it.
Dr. Brian Dixon (35:57): Aweseome. Perfect. And, of course, if you all have additional questions, you can still put them in the chat. We’ll put them on our list and we’ll get back to them at a different podcast, because like I said, we’re coming to you every Thursday with some realness and some awesomeness. This is where I wanted to kick it over to Dr. Jide for The Last Nerve. The Last Nerve.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (36:21): I am so excited. This is my first Last Nerve. So this is my first one. I’m ready. So I’m going to start my timer for 90 seconds. We realized that the 60 seconds wasn’t enough, so we’re going to do 90 seconds. So starting now. So this week it came out that three prominent people got accused of varying levels of sexual harassment and discrimination. First there’s Dr. Jason Campbell, who’s famous on TikTok with a quarter of a million followers on TikTok. He’s like the TikTok Doc who does, I guess, cute, funny videos. There’s Ronny ,Jackson, white man by the way, because I want to point that out, who was the physician for Donald Trump. And then the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, recently got accused of sexual harassment. So what gets on my last nerves is a god dang mother fucking harasser. Are you unable to keep your hands to yourself? Are you unable to keep your dick in its own box? Are you that immature? Are you that inappropriate that you’re unable to do that? That just really makes me so upset, because we all just want to go to work and mind our own business. You want to go to work and mind your business and go home, but you’re here and you’re making these environments toxic for these women. And I want to point out that harassment can occur by anybody to anybody, but the vast majority of the cases is men harassing women at work. That’s no question, and that gets on my last fucking nerve. Cut it out. There was an article I read. So I’m going to go over this timer, I’m sorry. There was an article I read a long time ago that said, “Just imagine every single one of your female coworkers is The Rock. Are you going to hit The Rock’s butt when he walks by you? Are you going to tell The Rock your sexual fantasies? Are you going to do all of these things? No. You’re going to respect The Rock and let The Rock do what The Rock wants to do.” So do the same thing to all of your coworkers. Stop harassing them. And one day, somebody’s going to beat you up, and you’re going to deserve it. And that’s it. That was on my last nerve. Sorry.
Dr. Brian Dixon (38:38): Preach. Thank you for sharing the last word, brother, and we hear you loud and clear. Keep your damn hands to yourself, and your comments [too]. So jeez. Well, y’all, we are super, super stoked that you all joined us today. I know that we had one last question in the chat box, but you know what, we’re actually going to add that to our question list and make you come back to the podcast next week so that we can do it again. And so yes, we appreciate you all joining us. I want to give a shout out to my co-host and the other co-hosts. So next week we’ll have some different folks in the chair. So we will give you our website. So if you all want to email us at any point whatsoever, Dr. Jide, do you have that email address? I always move it somewhere. Where’s it at? Oh, there it is. I got it. It’s called email@example.com, and with that said–oh, it’s in the chat. You all are awesome. Thanks so much for joining us. Dr. Jide, any last minute?
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (39:50): You all be well. Things are coming back sooner than later. So just make sure you all be smart and be safe. I love you all. Be good.
Dr. Brian Dixon (39:58): Have a good night. Bye.
Dr. Jide Bamishigbin (39:59): Bye.