Hey, what’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson, I want to welcome you back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Today I want to talk to you about how to defuse intense social situations.
Alright so this is kind of a hard podcast to make, and I’m not going to go into the details because I don’t want to, to be completely honest. It’s a hard, it’s a hard battle to win. I don’t think you can win in this battle. But this last weekend, I was trying to participate, trying to be helpful, trying to do what I thought would be best in the situation, and I’ll leave it at that. Obviously it’s been a crazy, it’s been a last crazy 3 months or so since this Coronavirus hit. The last week of escalation has been even harder I think.
Anyway, I was trying to do my best on social to help and be helpful, and what I thought was the right path, looking back now I understand why it wasn’t. But I didn’t understand it at the time, but I was doing my best. So again, I think we should all give people some grace as they’re trying to figure these things out and trying to do their best. But anyway, I’ll step back because what I wanted to talk to you guys about is more what happened as far as how I kind of dealt with the negativity of the social media part. Because that’s what I think a lot of people in our world are trying to teach, ‘You need to be publishing every single day and putting things out there.” it can be hard when you do and people beat you up and they beat you up bad.
I got beat up pretty bad this weekend. I’m not going to lie, it was emotional for me, for my family, for people I know, it was tough. I think it could have gone a couple of ways. It could have gone a lot worse. I think there were some things I did that were good, some things I did that were bad, so I wanted to kind of comment on them, because hopefully it will help you guys as you’re trying to figure this out. As people who are trying to publish and trying to influence, trying to help, and trying to serve, you’re always in the limelight.
And I’m kind of lucky because I’ve been doing this now for 18 years. So my skin has gotten thick. I have taken a lot of beatings in the years, which is why some people are like, “Why are not more social about this, or less social.” And different things like that, just because I’ve had a chance to get beat up a little bit. So for me, as tough as this weekend was, it was bearable for me. It was like, “Well okay, that was not pleasant, but it was okay.” But I know a lot of people around me, my wife and her family and people who go to church with me, who are like, the first time ever seeing a debate happening on my fan page, and people who are angry at me and yelling at me, and all this craziness, it was just like, ‘Oh.”
I had people in my ward, a ward here for our church is like our congregation, who are writing letters and putting them in my mailbox and making sure I was okay. You know, it’s funny because they don’t, for most of them this is the first time they’ve witnessed a social fight. And again, it’s been really tough for a lot of them. Not fight, but social discussion, a heated discussion. You know, obviously with me running as many ads as we do, I see this stuff every single day in my comments. Those of you who have run paid ads you know that the comments are really, really brutal and people beat you up. Again, I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I’ve got pretty thick skin around it. But most people around me that I love don’t.
So sometimes it’s hard because even if you’re like, “I can handle this.” The harder part is not me handling it, it’s seeing my wife crying as she’s reading stuff. That’s the harder part of this. But I want to talk about this because for me, I had good intentions, I was trying to post, I was trying to help. So that’s the first step of it, and then when you get people who are viciously attacking you because of it, what do you do and how do you do it?
And it’s tough because what I felt like, is I was standing there walking out like, ‘Hey, how can I help? How can I help?” and all the sudden I get punched in the face. “What are you doing? I’m here to help. You guys know that right?” and a punch and punch and a punch. What is your instinct reaction? For me, especially for me as like a wrestler, someone who like, I love combat sports, I love fighting, I love wrestling, I love, that’s how you, it’s like, it’s on, let’s go. So for me it was like getting punched and punched, and after 4 or 5 punches you just want to fight back.
And I know I had friends and family members like, “I wanted to go and post and tell people all these things.” And some people did, which didn’t help. I remember in the moment I was just like, “Gah, I want to like, I want to go and defend myself.” I want to go out there and I want to like, you know attack back at these people, and there’s this stuff that’s happening.
So as I sat there I tried to do something that’s hard, and it was hard for me. And I’m telling you this because hopefully this will help you if and when these things happen to you. So instead of me doing the default Russell, which is become defensive and go and try to attack, instead I stopped and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to try to listen. As painful as it is, I’m just going to listen.” And so I, the post, I want to pull the post down so badly, but I kept it up for over 24 hours, I let people come and post and I tried to just read and listen and tried to like, let me put myself in their perspective, let me put myself in their feet. How are they feeling? Why are they so defensive? Why is this happening? And I really tried.
And it’s hard. I’m not going to say that I have perfect empathy or understanding by any stretch of the imagination because I don’t. But I tried to listen. And instead of me doing what I would normally default and do which is fight back, I stopped and said, “What if they’re right? What if how I’m looking at this is wrong? How can I defuse this?” and I realized the way to defuse this was not to hold my ground and be right, because being right is not always right. So instead I said, I’m going to try and go the other way.
So to the people who were the most vocal to me, I tried to reach out to them and ask for their help. So instead of fighting back and being like, “Blah, blah, blah.’ I said, “You’re right. Can you help me? Help me understand, help me be better, help me figure this out.” And it was crazy to see how taking that stance instead of what your gut instincts are, the fight or flight, instead to humble and to ask for help. It changed and defused the situation almost instantly. And it gave me this really cool window during it, but then afterwards to really actually start to understand. And for that I’m super grateful.
I don’t think it was a matter of who was right and who was wrong. I think that in this situation we were both right, but because we had different perspectives it doesn’t look the same. And I think when I was able to find out the other person’s perspective I realized, I think I’m still trying to do the right thing, but I did it wrong. Maybe I didn’t go about it the right way.
Anyway, it was good and I’m grateful for the moment that happened. So I’m telling you this because as you go out there and you try to change the world in your own little way, just like I’m trying to do and you’re trying to do if you’re listening to me, there are going to be times that you’re going to get beat up bad, and your instincts are going to be to fight, and I want to challenge you to not fight. To instead stop and listen, try to put yourself in their shoes, try to have empathy, and instead of fighting back ask for understanding. Respond to the comment like, “You’re probably right in this situation. And I don’t understand why but I would love to figure it out. Can we jump on messenger and talk? Can you message me, can we call, can I…?” and by doing that it shifts the conversation, it shifts the everything.
So anyway, that’s kind of what we did this week and I wanted to kind of share it with you guys because again, I got hit with it hard, harder than I’ve been hit in a long, long time. But when all is said and done I think it turned out really good, for me, for my community, for our company. Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there as a way to navigate these really strange times that are hard to navigate. People are struggling, they’re hurting, they’re in pain.
Anyway, I hope that helps somebody. Because I’m sure that right now either you are vocal or you’re not vocal, but regardless of if you’re vocal or you’re not vocal right now, you’re feeling the pressure and the stress and the not knowing what to do and how to do it, and you’re probably going to do it wrong. The biggest thing is don’t respond the gut instinct way, which is to fight back. Instead stop and say, “Okay, I’m going to try and humble myself and I’m going to sit back and I’m going to ask questions and put myself in their situation and I’m going to try and have empathy and then I’m going to ask for help.”
And I think if you can do that, like I said, it changed the situation, the conversation and it ended up turning into a really positive thing overall.
So there’s my feedback, my ideas, my help. Take it for what it’s worth. But I think the last thing to is just to kind of come back and for me doing this now for 18 years, it’s like I’ve gotten thick skin, you’ve got to kind of start growing thick skin. Because it’s not, no matter what you do, no matter who’s going to love you, even if it’s like, I don’t remember the Seinfeld episode where somebody didn’t like Jerry, and Jerry’s mom is like, “How could you not like Jerry? He’s the…” and he’s like, “No, some people aren’t going to like me.”
And it’s like the same thing, they’re like, “How can you not like Russell? How can you not like so and so? They’re trying so hard, they’re super nice.” But just some people aren’t going to like you, they’re not going to like what you have to say or what you believe. And that’s okay. You’ve got to be okay with that. You still gotta love them and respect them, and do your best. Anyway, take that for what it’s worth.
I appreciate you guys for listening. Hopefully you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please take a screen shot of it, post it on your social channels and let me know, tag me on it. It would be fun to hear your comments and your feedback. Thanks so much you guys, appreciate you and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye everybody.