What do our expectations and improvisational theater have to do with healing?
Ben Winter tells us in this amazing episode #28 of PTH.
Ben certainly hasn’t been idle in life. Ben has flown an airplane on his own and has been scuba diving in the Galapagos. He has seen the animals of Tanzania and has traveled all over Europe with a 6-month-old child in tow. He has performed improv for over a decade and has owned several businesses. Between personal growth and improv, he found this weird realm called expectations. And while most people would shy away from such a thing, he decided to tackle it head-on. Along his journey, he decided that “the only reason anyone gets upset is that an expectation hasn’t been met.”
He began teaching in his Success Improv business and created the amazing “How to stop being upset” flow chart. He took everything that he has explored on the subject and put it in a book called, “What to Expect when Having Expectations.”
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Welcome, Ben. I'm so excited to see you here. How are you? I'm great. Thanks for having me, my pleasure. Where in the world are you? So I'm in Denver, Colorado, and it's supposed to be spring, but it keeps snowing on us. That's ridiculous. Yeah, it's almost may, is that normal?
Technically it is. It's just, it's frustrating now. It's it's just the time of year. The snowiest two months in Colorado are March and April. So. Got to hold true. Is the skiing still good? Apparently I haven't been skiing this here. Yeah, that would be my son's question. Can I ski? He'd be happy. He's in Vermont and he's he was like skiing last week, you know?
If you want to call it that out there, it's not the Rocky mountains, but you know, I guess it's better than New York, you know, your story. Exactly. So, so Ben, tell us a little about yourself. Where did you get your start? Where did you grow up? What was your life like? Who, who are you before you? Weren't Ben winter.
Oh, wow. So I grew up in Denver. Uh, I'm a, I'm a native of Colorado. And, uh, I grew up as a very, the shy kid. I was a shy kid. I was afraid of my shadow. I was afraid of everything around me. I didn't have a whole lot of friends and I just, I wanted to get through the like, The youth I wanted to get through school at a high school and get it behind you.
Yeah. I just wanted to get it behind me and, didn't really break out of my shell until after college actually. So, and from there, it's just, , several jobs, some. Interesting life experiences and personal growth, learning some improv, starting my own business and just kind of exploding. And, you know, as, as it is with flowers, they just kind of bloom at some point, I think kind of feel like that's what happened.
You bloomed. Yay. That's always a good thing. And you've had a very interesting life, lots of traveling, scuba diving in the Galapagos. What the heck was that like? That was some of the scariest moments of my life. Are you a scuba diver by nature? Anyway, you know, it's funny. Cause I knew I was going on a trip to some tropical location, but I didn't know where, so Galapagos was a surprise to me, but I went ahead and got my scuba certification and, and then when we got down there, everybody that I was with in this group went scuba diving and I was like, well, I want to go with my friends.
I don't want to go like. Elsewhere. So they all went on an intermediate dive and I've never been in the ocean with scuba gear. So put two and two together. Yeah, I was close to death a couple of times. Oh my God. How did you get to the Galapagos and not know you were going. So it was doing some personal growth work.
And part of it was like, you're paying for this personal growth program and the trip at the end of it, like, you knew you were going to take a trip, but they don't tell you where you're going. So you kind of have to prepare. They kind of say, well, it's going to be somewhere warm. So trust the coordinator.
Yeah. And you knew you needed your passport. So, you know, from there leaving the United States, it could be anywhere in the world at that point. Although this was around January, so we knew it had to be somewhere equator ish. But we flew to Miami and then we got our tickets to Quito, Ecuador, and that's where we found out, oh, Hey, we're going to Ecuador.
And then we got more details as time went on. Yeah. So, you know, ended up in the ocean, , almost ran out of air a couple of times and. Well, good. Well, that's the important part. Wow. Okay. Before we get too, too involved, let's do the six quick questions. Are you ready? Sure. Bring them on ex. Excellent. Okay.
What six words would you use to describe yourself? Oh my goodness. Okay. So. Let's see, I would say determines. I'm definitely opinionated. I'm not gonna lie. I am a creative and inspiring , funny and caring. That's a good list. Yeah. I like that list. I'm going to keep it well, good. It's your list? What's your favorite way to spend a day?
I love when I have a day where I'm just hanging out with friends, you know, doing a happy hour. And I got to do improv before that. You know, so I was on stage doing an improv show and then hanging out with friends, just chatting away. That's just one of my favorite days ever. It's just, the improv gets me in the mood to just be funny and witty and great.
And the conversations are just so much more fun after that. Awesome. Yeah. I love, love improv. There's an improv group. I haven't been since the whole COVID thing started, but they do a, a show late Friday nights at like 10 30, every Friday night in the basement of this. Theater building in a neighboring town and yeah.
The tickets are cheap. They're like 10 bucks and you come in and there's cheap beer and some snacks you can get, but it's a, like a theater in the round and they've got a troop of six regulars and they are always just dragging audience members up on the stage and like doing these random, so much fun. Oh my God.
So much fun. He got to trust and be vulnerable and open up and not censor yourself. Don't think too much. Just respond. Yeah. You can't think at all, that's the trick. No, absolutely fun. Fun. We're going to talk a lot more about that. What is your favorite childhood memory? That's number three. That would be my dog, my, my childhood dog, that, that dog, like I said, I was shy and like people, they, they always turned on me, so my dog was awesome.
So I just remember using her as a pillow watching TV and she just didn't care at all. She was very happy. What kind of a dog? There's a mix. I don't remember too much, but yeah, a mix is her name Sheba, Sheba, Sheba. Yeah. I had a miniature schnauzer growing up named candy. Who supposedly was my dog, but didn't like me all that much.
And she'd come into my room just to pee on the carpet. Yes. So you were the bathroom. Got it. I, to my mother, every illness that my mother got like a month later, the dog, God. Oh, geez. It's kind of nuts. Okay. Number four. What is your favorite meal? Pizza? Not going to lie. It's my favorite. Do you like toppings, Jessica?
It depends on the day, you know? Give me a good cheese pizza. I'm happy to throw some toppings on it. It's even better, but yeah, it's, out in New York, New York pate. Pizza's good. Don't get me wrong. I like black, New York pizza out in Colorado. We have a place called Beau Joe's and it's the thin bottom, but the crusts about that big around, and I gave you like a bottle of honey on the table.
So like, after you're done eating, it's like dessert with like, oh, it's amazing. Yeah. I'm going to have to try that next time we get pizza. It didn't would never have occurred to me to do that. Yeah. I don't know of any place outside of Colorado that does that. And it's only one, one chain. Is it just regular ordinary pizza dough or do they put sugar in it as it's sweet in some way?
No, it's regular pizza dough, but there's just a lot of it. So that the honey and the. The dough, it makes it just taste amazing. It's like dessert. You could also dampen it and dip it in confectioner's sugar and make like a Zeppelin. Yeah, you probably could. Yeah. Never thought of it either one of those until right now.
Okay. There goes the diet. Just have to do that pizza for dinner. Number five. What is one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self? Don't take life so seriously. Amen. I took life way too seriously as a kid. And. Yeah. Doesn't work every decision as monumental. Yeah, it is. It's not all the, all the things that we think are needed need to be serious.
They're not, you know, I look at social media today and just so many people are, are taking life way too seriously right now. It's it's ridiculous. So. Chill out. I mean, there are things that we should be serious about, but to get so angsty about it and venomous just seems irrelevant to me. Yeah. It's waste of time.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Just a couple of weeks ago, I got. A very nasty gram on Instagram telling me all sorts of awful horrible things that should happen to me for no apparent reason. I mean, who am I some random chick from long island with a podcast, you know, Hey, you got a fan, right? I've made it. I got a death threat, you know, like, I don't know, insane.
People are nuts moving up in the world. Number five. What one piece of advice would you like to give your younger self? The same advice I just gave, but I just ask you that twice. Yeah. Don't take life too seriously. I did damn it. No wonder it sounded familiar, but I didn't change my mind. So it's a good thing.
Yeah. Like one of those surveys that asks you the same question, three or four different ways. Yeah, exactly. I took one of those today and I'm like, do you think I'm so stupid to not put the same answer? It's the same question. It's just a different page. Exactly. Hey. All right.
Number six. What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world? People taking life too seriously.
I think that works perfectly right now.
I'm going to stick with that. This is my final answer. Final answer. Funny. And I always think things like I would like to eradicate greed, you know, to me, if we eradicate greed, You get rid of everything. That's bad about the world. People aren't going to, you know, suck up all the power and the money and let other people die.
You know, they're there. If they're not greedy, they're not going to do any of those. Things. So, but yours is more fun, kind of takes care of most things as well. There you go. We're done. Wait, we can be finished. The interview was over. We solve the world's problems today and we did it in, I don't have a timer.
We did it 10 minutes, minutes. Okay. So you have a company called success, improv business. No. Yeah, I can't read my own notes. , so that's tell me about that. I I'm, I'm very interested in that. Yeah. So success improv is where we go into businesses and we teach them improv, whether that's for team building or just general improvements of the company culture, innovation of all various sorts of things that improv impacts in a positive way.
So, so I hire you to come into my company, assuming I had more than myself as an employee, let's say I had like 20 people. You know, you never know what, what do you do that need your help? Where are our, our morale is low. We don't trust each other. Nothing's getting anywhere. Shit's hitting the fan, fix it.
What do we do? Yeah. So I come in and I teach a, two or three hour, probably three hours with that many people, an improv class, where we kind of take the rules and the techniques of improv. And we apply them to everyday life in business and how to create that team environment to build each other's trust and, and communication so that everybody is a little bit better off and productivity increases.
Everybody's happier to come to work and, and it all is just gets better and better. But why does improv do that? So, if you think of it every moment of every day of our lives, we improvise those moments. And the show that you were talking about earlier, if you go to an improv show, The people that are on stage, they're following a set of rules. Now when you learn improv, there's, there's more and more and more rules as time goes on, but they're, they boil down pretty easily to five basic rules. And those are the five basic rules that I teach. Um, and the most common rule that you'll ever hear in improv is yes. And, and a lot of people you'll say, is there a rule to improv?
Yes. And well, yes. And is really just kind of. Accepting what is in the moments and adding with it, that going with it, adding onto it. And the big piece there is that in, in our lives, we don't take the moment to say, yeah, this is the shitty thing that's happening right now. And what can I do about it?
A lot of times, we're just like, no, it's not happening now. Nope. It's not me. No, I didn't do it. Nope. Nope. Somebody else's fault. Like nobody accepts what's happening or their role in what's happening. So that's where it kind of comes in too. Once you understand those rules of improv and a business environment, you kind of understand how your part, how you play your part in the group dynamic, your expectations of their, their part.
, how to communicate a little bit more effectively. Cause obviously if you're in a meeting with somebody and you're on your phone, you're not really listening to them, they're not communicating well. And you know, there's lots of different things that can affect those relationships and business. And so hopefully by coming in teaching those improv skills, whether that's me or somebody else, you'll see that there's a way to kind of move.
Past the old stuff that didn't work and move towards a better progressive way and a different approach that actually creates more fun and better productivity on that track. Do you think that that works among the different hierarchies in an organization or only within distinct separate hierarchies? I don't know if I'm asking that well, I understand what you're saying.
If, oftentimes I shouldn't say oftentimes sometimes they'll go in and the manager got the team building for the team. And then they leave the room and that always frustrates the hell out of me because the manager plays a big role in it environment. , and even the managers. Yeah. The managers manager, even, what I love to do is get.
Everybody in the company on the same page. And then the magic really happens. But the beauty of improv is even if only, you know, the rules, you're going to be better prepared to handle what comes your way, whether that's talking to your boss or talking to a subordinate, it doesn't matter. And that's the beauty of, of knowing the rules of improv and how they work and how they apply to life.
I mean, we all have rules in every single social engagement. Certain expectations are put upon us where, you know, you're talking to your teacher, you're not going to turn around and scream at them the same way or talk to them the same way you would talk to a friend. So I think we're already sort of engaging within rules.
Yeah. And these are just, these are more of like the foundational rules that we were never taught as, as people, You know, like the yes and rule accepting what is and adding to it. You know, if you, one of the great examples of this as I love you, but you're crazy and I love you for, I love you. And you're crazy.
You know, there's a huge difference between the button, the hands there. , cause one gives you hope and one does not. And so in the world today, it's accepting what is, and what can I do about it? It's not that like, oh, I don't have the money I want, I don't have the job that I want. I don't have the relationship that I want and what can I do to move towards what it is that I want if it's like, I don't have the relationship that I want, but I'm fine with it.
Well, you're kind of giving up on your dreams at that point. You know, I don't have the job that I want, but I'm good. Cause the money is okay. Well that's bullshit. You know, you have to be happy, find something that brings you meaning and to be able to pay the bills, there's gotta be something out there. So you can not enjoy your jobs, stay in it for awhile and look for something else.
In the meantime, it's not like you have to jump ship, right. Some people do and they find their way. And it's great. It's, it's a shift for that. I couldn't, I I'm a direct example. I, I quit a job with nothing plans and I left for a year, for three months with a six month old child and not have a clue what I was going to end up doing.
Right. And I get back and I start a business and then I started another business and I do this and like, you know, life just explodes and otherwise I'd be stuck at this same dead end job. Wow. So, you know, it's yeah. You have to accept what it is and do something about it. And so those, those foundational rules of improv just, they really help in every situation possible.
And so I say to everybody, go learn improv, whether that's on your own through business, it doesn't matter. Just go read a book, go. Take some classes and whatever, just learn improv. Do you think that would work in a school? God, I think improv should be taught to everybody in school, especially teenagers. I would say in middle school, it should be required because as you go into high school, the crazy stuff that happens, you need to be ready.
To just yes. And the hell out of all of it. Oh, okay. You're going to bully me. Okay. I see what's happening. All right. And I'm going to turn the, and now what right. And I don't have to pay any attention to you, so exactly. Yeah, exactly. I'm listening to you talk and I'm thinking about my high school students.
I teach 11th and 12th grade English and I'm like, how can I bring this to my classroom? I mean, especially during this whole COVID thing, you know, I'm, it's, it's almost may, and I'm just coaxing them out of their silence behind their masks, and we've got partitions around all the desks. It's just ridiculous and would be fun to figure out how to do an improv thing in the classroom.
Yeah. And I think it would be amazing for, for schools to offer. Improv or even I had make it mandatory along with finance, make fan and finance improv. Like these things that will help you in life later. I think those should be mandatory classes. Yeah. So many things that we should be teaching kids how to apply for jobs, how to file their taxes, how to balance their checkbooks, how to take care of their car.
Yes. So many things, adult adult one oh one or something? Yeah, the, my, my counterpart, she teaches at it's called Colorado early colleges and it's for those kids that are kind of excelling in high school and they want to get a jumpstart on college and she kind of teaches adulting. One-on-one it's not called that, but it's basically what it is.
So, so it's starting to get into the schools. , But yeah, it's, it's totally necessary for everyone. Yeah. Okay. So besides yes. And what other tools could we, you think that we could start to use in our own lives that might help? So I think one of the big ones is another rule of improv is focused on the present.
Okay. You know, one of the things that we're not good at in terms of communicating is focusing on the person in front of you and texting doesn't work. It's not enough. Inflection matters, tone matters, right? Mannerisms matter matter, it's not just words. And if you're not focused on the person that's sitting across from you, you may as well not be there.
Yeah and so that's one of our biggest problems is the misunderstandings we have with one another. And. It's the conversations that we have, we've already made up our mind. We're not listening to the other person. We're not gonna even entertain a different train of thought, a different idea, a different piece of information. , so if you focus on the present, you just listen to somebody you're going to not only hear what they say, but you're going to see how they say it. Maybe why they're saying it, where it may have come from. And you can have a much deeper and better conversation, and a deeper understanding of whether where they're coming from and why.
So just start focusing on, on the person across from you. So it's mindfulness and it's, open-mindedness. Open-minded mindfulness. Maybe I like it. We've just coined a new phrase. I'm going to write that down. Oh, thank you. I got like eight other books I'm working on, so I don't have room for anymore.
Okay, great. So speaking of books, what to expect when having expectations? What's that about? Tell us about that. Well, no expectations have gotten me into a shit ton of trouble. Yeah. Well, it is about expectations. It's about where our expectations come from, why we have them and what to do about it. When we , magically find out we had one that we didn't know that, that we didn't know we had until it starts going on meds.
So the only reason anybody gets upset is because an expectation isn't being met. And a lot of times, you know, anytime somebody is upset, like you can, I have 100% been able to find that there's a correlating expectation that they either knew about or didn't know about. , and it's either of themselves or of somebody close to them or other people around them.
And a lot of times we didn't even know we had that expectation until it's like staring us in the face. Which is not a problem. As long as you take a moment and say, oh, Hey look, I had this expectation. That kind of sounds exactly like what my mom said when I was a kid. Right. So maybe I'm trying to emulate what I learned when I grew up and it's not going well.
So is this working for me, you know, that sort of, kind of conversation that we would have with ourselves. So, so you mean like expectations, like I thought I was going to do better on the math test than I thought than I did, or I thought you were going to love me the way I wanted to be loved. I mean, do you mean stuff like that?
All, all of that. Absolutely. You know, it's. If you grow up in a household where everybody's loving, caring, they're open, inviting through. You're always having friends over. You're always in a fun environment when you grow up and you're bored as hell and nobody ever comes over and you don't have any friends.
Well, you're kind of upset. Not necessarily. I mean, you're upset at the world around you. You're upset at yourself. Like you're just upset. You're like this isn't how life is supposed to be. Well, that's an expectation because that's how you grew up. Um, on the, on the other side, you know, you may grow up.
Hating that environment saying there's too many people around. I never have time to myself. And then somehow you grow up and do you have all the time in the world? And you're just happy as can be because you wanted something different. You know, The other piece, the other side of that is maybe you grew up in a household where everybody was yelling and arguing and it was very non-inclusive and everybody's just, there was just lots of anger and now you're out in the world and everybody's getting upset with you.
And you're just like, why is everybody hate me? And, well, you know, if you grew up in an environment where you've put out hate and anger, then that's what you're going to kind of get back. And if you don't like that, Well, you kind of had an expectation of how this is how life is supposed to be, because that's how you grew up.
Now. It could be that you grew up watching your parents and how they love each other. Maybe it's just words. Maybe they just talk about loving each other. Maybe you grew up with parents who were always affectionate, holding hands, cuddling on the couch every night and he grew up. That's what love is. Great.
Some people grow up only receiving gifts and that's how they knew their parents loved them or whatever. And so when you grow up languages, but yeah, that's the love languages story right there. So when you grow up and you get into a relationship and they're not loving you the way you want to be loved or the way you think you're supposed to be loved, you don't really think that they love you.
So a lot of these. Expectations we have of the world around us are subconscious they're, they're how we grew up. And, you know, you'll get into that relationship and somebody gives you a gift and you're like, cool. That's great. But why aren't you like cuddling with me every night? Or like, why are you never around?
Like, I just want to spend time with you and. You know, at some point you'll get upset, you'll get wildly upset and you'll start yelling match, or, or you'll skip the part where you get therapy and figure out that this is the issue and you'll get a divorce and whatever may happen. And you know, a lot of times, if we just stop and say, why am I upset?
Well, I want them to be here, cuddling with me at night. But have you told that person that say, Hey, this is how I like your request. Yeah. Could just be a request because a lot of times we'll have these expectations of others, whether we know them or not. But even if we do know them, a lot of times we don't even talk about it to the person who's closest to us.
If we don't talk about it with the people around us, I think, do we take for granted that we think that they know, do we think it's intuitive in some way? Or do we just not. I think we need to communicate it. Doesn't quite get to that level of thought. It's a mixture of a lot of that. Um, I would say most of the time, we just assume that people think the same way as us and look where that's getting us as a society.
It doesn't work. Yeah. It doesn't work. The example that I use in the book, one that I, I love using is, you know, there's, there's a couple guys watching sports ball and. The wife's in the kitchen cooking. Yes. I'm stereotyping, you know, whatever, but whatever people understand it. So I use it, and she says, honey, take out the trash.
Okay. Simple request. Right. Except he's watching sports ball and time goes on and time goes on and she gets upset because he hasn't taken out the trash when he said, okay, okay. And time goes on and now she's about to like throw the trash at him. And, you know, he had every intention of still taking out the trash.
Right. But what she didn't communicate was I need you to take out the trash now because we have company coming over later and I don't want it to smell up the house. Right. Okay. That's way more clear sentence would have been more clear, right? Exactly. Communicating, saying this is my expectation and, and all the details around that expectation.
Now he could have, you know, not to give him. You know, an out here he could have said, when do you need this done? I'm watching the game. And she's like, well, as sooner, sooner than later, you know, he could have taken a step forward and said, I need detail. Yeah. I'm in the middle of seven minutes. Can it wait that long?
Right. Right. This is what's called negotiation. Or talking or communicating, you know, again, stuff we suck at as a society these days. Yeah. And that's just, that's a very simple example, but people can, can grasp that one. So when we come up with an expectation, we didn't even know we had of somebody else.
There's no way you can be upset at them because they didn't even know you know about it. Cause you didn't know about it. Right. So you got to take that step back and say, okay, now that I know that I have this expectation, is it a reasonable. Expectation. And if it's not a reasonable expectation, maybe I need to reframe it before I go to somebody else and say, Hey, this is what I was thinking.
This is what I need. This is what I want. Yeah. That, that's how life has sort of worked out with my, with my second marriage between. Negative expectations that I had from growing up and with my first marriage and earlier relationships, I had an expectation that I was going to be misunderstood. I had an expectation that I was going to be treated like crap and ignored, and I didn't like.
The way those expectations played out and made me feel, so I've gone into this new I've rewritten the expectations. I've never explained it this way before, but I'm trying to make sense out of your way of looking at it with other things. So, so now I've gone into this new relationship with the expectation that it's going to be better and more clearly communicative.
And, I'm really consciously aware of how clear I'm being when I make requests of other people or when I am communicating with them about things. Yeah. So you've made that conscious choice and, and that's all it really starts with is, is choosing, I need something different and maybe it's that. I need to be specific about what I want.
Maybe it's about. Taking a moment. Every time I get upset and saying, what's that about? Right. Yeah. Nobody's going to read your mind that, that I learned very early on when my mother expected me to read hers and it was just not possible, but I'll say to my daughter, who's going to school now. She goes to school in Massachusetts, but she's home because all her classes are online.
Cause a COVID. So, so I'll say your note in between classes today, could you clean out the litter box and vacuum, but do it before four? I get home from school. And so she's got it. Right. She's got a timeframe. I expect you to do this, and I expect you to do this in between your other stuff by two o'clock or by three o'clock or whatever it is.
And I would say 85% of the time it's done, but that's a pretty good result. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if you're good with it, so that's great. You know it's funny as you were talking about relationships, I was thinking about all the funny things that happened when, uh, all the comedy and everything out there around relationships.
And, how, when, uh, Woman likes a guy. She has to basically hit him over the head with a two by four to say, Hey, I'm interested. You know, honestly, there's some truth to that because we don't read each other's minds. Sometimes the guy has to say, Hey, I'm interested in you. Sometimes a woman's has to say.
Hey, I've been flirting with you for a while, like catch on please. Oh, okay. My husband and I we've been friends for 29 years and we have this very nice relationship. He was married to someone. I was married to someone. We had kids. We were never single at the same time, whatever. Anyway, finally it gets to 2015 and, and we met in 87.
So now it's 2015 and we're finally single at the same time, but I'm not thinking of him that way, you know? And. I remember being on Facebook messenger and we were having this long conversation. He was with his kids. I was with my kids. We couldn't really talk on the phone. And he was like, so, you know, maybe we'll hang out and go to the movies on Saturday.
And I'm like, sure, that'd be nice. But it was just sorta like, well, you know, maybe it wasn't like, will you go to the movies with me on a date? And. I was so used to him being way in the friend zone that it didn't occur to me that this was his way of asking me out. And Saturday came and went and we didn't go to the movies.
He didn't follow up. I didn't follow up. It was just that conversation. And, you know, like, oh, we'll do lunch, you know? And, and then months had gone by and I just didn't get the vibe. And then I invited him over to my house for a Halloween party and. He was like, all right, I'm going to be really clear and I'm going to ask her out.
And, and then I had a date at the party, cause I didn't know he was coming with that expectation. So it was just, you know, a comedy of errors here. And then finally I asked him out very clearly. And, that's how it went, so, okay. Yeah. See, it's, it's so funny. We just don't share our expectations with others.
And in a lot of times it's out of fear, you know? A lot of, especially with people dating, it's like, Hey, if I tell you I'm interested and you reject me, that's painful. And so a lot of times we want to avoid that pain, so we just don't share it. Right. , but in that point he couldn't show up at the party and be upset.
No, he wasn't upset. I mean, disappointed, but he wasn't upset with me cause I had freaking no idea and he might've been upset with himself. But at that point in time, all you could really do is say I never communicated my expectations. So I really, I have no ground to stand on with being upset with myself or anyone around me.
Right. And. You know, whether it's disappointment and upset or otherwise. And it's you see what I'm saying is like, he never said what he needed to say. So showing up at a party when it's like, oh, she's here with the date. It's like, okay, well, who else here is single woo, whatever. Well, then he asked out, he asked me if he could ask out one of my friends.
And I was like slightly disappointed because I thought that he was interested in me, but I wasn't really sure. And he didn't really say anything. So I didn't really trust the vibe, but I'm like go, I could have her number. And then by the time. They went out and then they told me that they had gone out. I had already decided that I was going to ask him out.
And when they told, when I found out that the day didn't go all that well, yes. I mean, I was history and the rest is history out. And then I proposed him because I knew eventually he would ask, but I didn't like his timeline. I wanted, I expected faster. And I knew his timeline would be slow. So there we go.
Another expectation. I, when I told my dad that we were engaged, his expectation was that Michael would have proposed to me. And when I said that I proposed, my dad did not know what to do. It's like, You watch, is it legitimate? Can, can we tell people, would he have asked you anyway? Like he just couldn't, it didn't meet his expectation and he couldn't get past it for awhile.
Yeah. It's it's again, how we grow up really dictates what our thoughts and beliefs are about the future. So when something goes against that, we're just kinda like, what? I don't get it. Yeah. It's a pretty common, anybody, anybody going against the norm, you're going to get a pretty common reaction like that.
Yeah. Yeah. I have kids come up to me all the time and say things to me, expecting me to flip out as their teacher. And I'm like, yeah. And okay, so you'll hand it in tomorrow. I don't care. My orbit is not going to flip out, you know, one less paper to read tonight. I don't care. And it in tomorrow, you know, and they're like really.
In the grand scheme of things, it's irrelevant. Yeah. But some other teacher said it was relevant. Yeah. They get their expectation as a punitive response and, yeah, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I'm not that way. I mean, I am at some things let's let's, you know, anyway. So, so you wrote this book what to expect when having expectations.
I keep almost reading this, like the pregnancy book. I know what to expect when you're expecting. And I'm like, I have to fix it in my head every single time I read it, which, you know, I'll never forget it. So yeah. And it's, it's funny. Cause I put it out to my social media world and my friends and I was like, I needed a title for this book and it was actually somebody I'd do improv with who suggested this title.
So I have to give him the credit. Uh, but it was, as soon as he put it down, I was like, that's it. That's the one. That's awesome. I mean, because it plays right off of the other book for sure what to expect and we all have expectations. Once you, once you explained the concept. I can see them everywhere. Yeah.
There's no getting away from him. Anybody who says I just don't. I choose not to have expectations. Well, that's an expectation in and of itself. Exactly. Not having an expectation is an expectation. You're expecting not to have an expectation. So sorry. You now have an expectation. Even my cats have expectations.
Of course they do. I had to expect to kill you tonight. Oh my God. This theory, we have this one cat who I swear should be on antidepressants or something, or anti-anxiety medication. He paces around the perimeter of the entire house yelling all the time. And we have this theory that if he wasn't 11 pounds, if he was 10 times the size he'd kill us all in our sleep.
Probably or you look like a tasty Morrow, you were slipping out of the house. Gosh, you know, cats are a riot. So funny, so funny. So you have other books too. I did not do my due diligence and read and, and, and look them up. I just looked at my own notes that says, and several other books, which I didn't read until this moment. What other books have you written. So the first book that I wrote is called living on scripted. And that one specifically talks about improv and how it applies to life. And it's, it's almost the same material that I teach in my classes. But it's, it's designed for the person who just wants to sit at home and read through it and see what they can take from it.
So, uh, living on scripted is the first one. That one took me all of about a week to write just because it was just like, I was just typing and it was just flowing out of me and just, it was perfect. It was great. , I absolutely love that book. The other ones that are in between the two are just variations of the first one. So like one's for business, one's for teams, one's for relationships. And so don't buy all of them, all the unscripted ones, just pick the one that's most relevant to you that aren't make the most sense. Yeah. Cause you'll start reading it. You're like, this is exactly the same, except the examples are different so well, but it's good.
It's it gets you fine tuned into different niches. Exactly. So that it's more applicable to a specific, specific clientele. Book number five is it's called improve your self esteem. Um, but improve the it's all improv with a lower Casey. That's that, one's a lot of the same as the first, but I expanded into kind of my past and situations that occurred in my past and how they might've been different.
Had I learned in provity on age. So it kind of goes back to what you were talking about with. W, you know, should they teach improv in schools? And I know my life would have been drastically different. Had I had improv way back when follow that thought. So I was bullied one time in high school, out of nowhere because I was so naive about life.
And apparently I did something to upset somebody who's two years older than me. And I'd never talked to him before or anything. And he just, he called it, came up and swear to my face, made me feel like I was about to die and then walked off and I was just like, holy crap. Right. I just kinda froze.
I didn't know what to do. I was just like freaking out. Right. I wanted to just go home or get to my next class, get next to a teacher. Somebody like just, I felt completely unsafe. Yeah. And I think having had improv in my backpack ready to go. I might've handled that situation completely differently. I might've been like, dude, we don't even talk, like, what are you talking about?
You know, I might've started asking him questions to get some clarification and maybe diffuse the situation. And I don't know if they would have comes with that. Not only is. A response or an arsenal or a tool belt of responses, but inherent in that improv experience is self-esteem building his confidence.
That that's the piece that would have allowed you in my estimation to stand up to the bully more than the tool belt of responses. I couldn't agree more. It is such a self confidence building tool. And I kind of feel like that's where most of my self-confidence as an adult has come from is doing improv.
But you know, there's various things that happens in my life that, you know, high school and college, I would have handled college so, so differently. Having had improv again, self confidence at the end of the day is probably the, the main piece there. And, you know, that's why I call it, improve your self esteem, because I think through improv, you do improve your self-esteem.
And so that book is, it's still the same rules and information, but it's, it's kind of a deeper dive into my life and how things might've been different with some self-esteem in my backpack. Do you work on these, do these exercises for fun with your kid? , he's been to some shows. He's pretty outgoing self-confident kid at the moment.
My son's 11. She hasn't hit the, the ages yet where the hormones take over his brain and make him stupid. So , hopefully he'll keep his confidence going throughout middle school and high school. And, I think he's more likely to become the bully. Although I won't stand for that in any way, shape or form. Imagine not. But he's into sports and team playing. So he's, he's always in that dynamic of actually caring and working with others. , and the school that he's in actually kind of teaches that he's a very caring kid right now. So hopefully he'll be the guy that goes into a situation and diffuses other bullies and says, just chill out, leave the kid alone.
Or, you know, ho I want him to be the guy that stands up to bullies on behalf of other kids. So yeah, that's what I want. That's a good, that's a good goal. Yeah. My S my son was doing that and I, unexpected by me, you know, I was at the playground once and he was five, but he was always tall. He was always very tall for his age.
He was in kindergarten. And these first graders. Came over to the playground and told him and his friend that they weren't allowed to use the slide because they weren't in first grade and my son stood, stood taller than he was necessary. I heard him from the ground and he said, you don't own this.
This is a town slide. We can slide here. You don't have the right to pick on us. And, and he just, and the bully just went. Oh, okay. You go down first then, you know, like he just was not, his expectation was that my son was just going to back down and that was the end of that. And he didn't know what to do with the script flipped on him.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, you know, I have expectations of my child and I'm sure plenty of them will go on meds and that's just me. Not exactly. So, but I'm already prepared for that. So it's, you know, I. I'm sure I will be thrown curve balls. I never expected. And that's fine. So well, that's what makes us a good parents.
You know, we have our metaphoric catcher Smit, and we can catch and throw back whatever's comes our way. That's a very bad metaphor, but you get the idea. I get it. You know, I'm, I'm never funny on purpose. I'm only funny on accident spontaneously. So it either works or it doesn't. I always tell my students, the jokes are quick.
The jokes are smart, but they're often very bad. Hey, as long as there, as long as you're trying, that's it, that's it. And then half the time they're like, oh no, I can't believe she said that, but I don't know. Fourth generation wise ass. There's not much I can do about that. You know? So how can our lovely listeners get in touch with you, Mr.
Winter? The best way to do that is by going to the website, having expectations.com, you can find out all about the book , what to expect when having expectations, or you can go to success, improv.com and learn more about the business. And also the books are listed in there as well. So, and the books are available on the website, but are they available at other places? , they're not just links to Amazon. They're all on Amazon. Okay. Yeah. I think lawn is ubiquitous. It is everywhere. Yeah, it is. There's no way around it. Exactly. So stuff ubiquity, you know, makes it easy by using Amazon. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here, Ben. This was fabulous. I enjoyed this conversation.
We improv to the whole thing. Yes, yes we did. I liked that. I liked that. So excellent. So I will link all of your, website information and all of that in the, in the show notes. So if you're listening to this, you can scroll down and on the bottom, you'll see them there. If you're on YouTube watching this well, then it's right there under our pictures.
So, that's that? Thank you so much, Ben. And, I will, uh, be improving myself all night. This is awesome. It's been a lot of fun. I appreciate the time. Anytime. Thanks so much. All right.