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Mar 22, 2021

Our ego is always on patrol and, when it’s insulted, watch out! That is the core of what it means to take things personally. In this episode, we break down: how to not take things personally, sustainable happiness, using body language to transform our internal state, why some insults hurt and others do not, and specific scenarios where you might feel insulted (but don’t need to be).

Guest Bio:  Frederik Imbo is the founder and head of Imboorling, a company dedicated to improving communication on both the micro and macro levels. Frederik is a formally trained actor with a masters in dramatic arts from the Royal Conservancy in Ghent and was a prolific actor on numerous television series.  During his acting career, he began taking roles working in training videos for interpersonal communication. The insights from those role-plays resonated with him and set him on a path of many years of study and training in neurolinguistic programming and nonviolent communication. Over time, fostering communication has become his life focus and led to the founding of Imboorling.

Frederik’s TED talk on how to not take things personally has been viewed 6 million times.

This episode is in support of World Bicycle Relief -- delivering specially designed, locally assembled, rugged bicycles for people in need. They’ve developed an efficient, innovative, and scalable model to empower students, health workers, and entrepreneurs in rural developing regions with life-changing mobility. Donate here.

We discuss:


  • The barrier to sustainable happiness and the technique to overcome that [04:15];
  •  Frederik’s strategies for preparing to speak publicly [06:40];
  • How becoming a soccer referee helped him strengthen his muscle of not taking things personally [12:04];
  • What it means if you feel hurt after receiving criticism [15:44];
  • The fact that thinking negatively is natural [22:46]; 
  • What you can do if you’re being dragged down by negative thoughts [24:10];
  •  Body language and how that can affect your mood and self-confidence [26:30];
  • The difference between being called an orange and being told you’re selfish [28:36];
    How Frederik reframes when he feels himself taking something personally [30:20];
  • A choice -- Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? [36:05];
    Using empathy to manage conflict with a consultant in the emergency department [39:45];
    Strategies for not taking it personally when you receive a poor patient satisfaction score or Yelp review [44:00];
    Handling a scenario where your best friend forgets your birthday [48:45];
  • Why when giving gifts, be more like of the sun -- not expecting anything in return [52:25];
  • If Frederik were to design a bumper sticker [55:30];
  • And More


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