Collapse is a heavy topic, and many people struggle with how to bring it up to others. While the situation may not always warrant teaching someone about collapse, sometimes it is and it's worth being prepared for those conversations.
In this episode we discuss the dos and don'ts of talking about collapse, with some specific approaches that can be used.
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/collapsepod)
Collapse is a heavy topic, and many people struggle with how to bring it up to others. While the situation may not always warrant teaching someone about collapse, sometimes it is and it's worth being prepared for those conversations.
In this episode we discuss the dos and don'ts of talking about collapse, with some specific approaches that can be used.
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/collapsepod)
Kory: [00:00:00] Everybody, I got to just say I got quite the treat the other night. I was laying in bed and Kellen sent me a message, a text that said put in your headphones and listened to this.
Kellan: [00:00:24] I sure did. And what did you think?
Kory: [00:00:29] Dude, did I get an earful. It was awesome. Kellan created a rap about collapse, like full on composed musical. Like he has someone else that sings the chorus. It's amazing.
Kellan: [00:00:45] Yeah, it was pretty amazing what a weirdo can do with an iPad. no, it has just been a lot of fun to have these conversations with you. And, you know, we do these bonus episodes each week that you can go listen to if he subscribed to is on Patreon it's kind of a way to thank our Patreon supporters. And we talked about how we need some intro music for those bonus episodes.
So I think that was part of it. I think another part of it is honestly just some sort of a coping thing. Like for me to be able to do something creative to express, you know, what I'm thinking and feeling and learning about here is good for me. But anyways, if you were to like ask everybody I know to describe me, I don't think there's a single person who would describe me as musically talented.
It was probably one of the funnest things I have ever done. Yeah. And I'm a little bit biased, but I don't think you could listen to it and not at least have some fun and enjoy it.
Kory: [00:01:40] Agreed. And I was definitely impressed. The lyrics were way more, I guess, complicated than I expected when you had told me about it originally. And overall, I just thought it was really well put together. I mean, I edit this podcast, but there's no way I could edit a song the way that you did create a track and the music and the lyrics, all of that. So anyway, kudos to you, Kellan, that was pretty cool. As a listener to the podcast. If you want to check out Kellan's rap, which by the way, did you name it?
Kellan: [00:02:07] Yeah. The title of it is brace for impact.
Kory: [00:02:10] Or you have it. If you want to listen to brace for impact by Kellan you can check it out by joining our Patreon.
Kellan: [00:02:15] Yeah. And if you do listen to it and you actually enjoy it and have even a fraction as much fun listening to it, as I did making it, let me know, because I feel like with everything we've talked about, there's enough content to make entire albums. And it could just be a fun project if there's interest out there.
Kory: [00:02:30] Okay. Perfect. Well, I'll tell you what I have actually been really excited about this episode. It's one that we mentioned right at the beginning of the series when we started this podcast was that we wanted to help people be able to express their thoughts around collapse to other people. I mean, it's the whole purpose for us doing this podcast was to be able to explain collapse in a simple enough way that people could feel comfortable, either sharing the podcast with someone else or maybe using the same way that we explain it, to explain it to others.
And there is a mountain of challenges when it comes to talking to people about collapse. And I do want to point out that with this episode, we're not claiming or stating that you should be telling everyone you know about collapse. I also mentioned from the beginning that I never try and push this information on anyone who I don't feel is ready to hear it, or that shouldn't hear it.
You know, most of my family, , for example, doesn't listen to the podcast. But we wanted to do this episode because we do feel like there are so many people out there who want to be able to talk to loved ones who want to be able to start building a community. And the first step to really doing that is knowing how to approach them and how to handle the conversations around this topic in a way that increases your chances for them listening and taking you seriously.
Kellan: [00:03:47] Well said, and I think that's a perfect way to start this. Really, to state it simply, this episode is about how to present the topic of collapse to other people.
Kory: [00:03:57] Yeah, and I think one of the reasons I'm so excited about this episode is that Kellan and I, and especially Kellan comes from a background where this is basically what he does for a living. I've heard Kellan talk about how to influence people before and I've always loved his approach to it. So I think this is just going to be an awesome episode.
Kellan: [00:04:15] Thank you. I hope so. Ya know, as I tried to think back on my experience and why I might have some good insight into this topic. First of all, as it relates to collapse itself, I got to hear the fantastic way that you presented it to me. And then in other types of formats, since then, I've had the chance to tell other people about it.
But it's kind of interesting because when I was doing my undergraduate degree, I took a college course on persuasive writing. And at the end of the course, there's kind of this big capstone project that everyone had worked on the entire semester. You were supposed to write a persuasive essay and in the end, everyone voted on whose persuasive essay was the most effective. And then that was placed into some sort of a, I don't know, a collection or something that the university put together.
And mine. Which I was really surprised by at the time, but I feel like I learned a lot from that course. Later when I did my master's degree, I took a business class in which we were supposed to come up with a product idea and then kind of do like a shark tank, you know, present it to the rest of the class. And again, it was our big capstone project for the whole course. And that was another case in which my idea and presentation was voted as the one that everyone would buy into.
From a career standpoint, I spent the first few years of my career teaching. And learned a lot when it comes to presenting information, as I taught teenagers. And then later shifted to a role in sales and I oversee a sales team. And so none of that is like to toot my own horn. It's just a way of saying that I've spent a good share of my life, focusing on presenting information to others and how that comes across and particularly how to present information in a persuasive way.
Kory: [00:06:00] Yeah. And I having been close to Kellan almost our entire lives, you know, I have watched and seeing how good Kellan is with people. So on top of everything that he's learned through schooling and experience in his career, I've also just seen that Kellen is a good people person. He understands people, he's good at communicating with people, and he is naturally a persuasive person.
So anyway, count that is to toot your horn a bit. I do want people to know that you didn't just do some research this week for this episode, you've kind of been preparing your entire life for this episode.
Kellan: [00:06:33] I appreciate the kind words. All right. So let's start then with a foundation of persuasion so I want to try and frame this. Really all of our communication is meant to influence the thoughts and emotions and behaviors of those that we communicate with. You know, you think about, like, if you tell a joke, you're trying to have an impact on that person's emotions and make them laugh. Or if you tell a story, you're trying to make that person feel a certain way about what you're telling them, or you're trying to help them understand something or become more informed and think differently about that topic or about a given situation.
So really all the communication we have is meant to influence others. And there's nothing wrong with trying to influence other people. But I believe there's a good side to persuasion and a bad side to persuasion. You know, if you get persuaded by someone to do something, or let's say to buy something, you might discover the tactics that were used by the marketers or the salespeople or whatever. And you could walk away from that saying that was so manipulative, or I feel like I was tricked, or I only did it because they were so clever. And in my mind, that's the bad side. That's the bad approach. On the other hand, you might walk away from a presentation or from being persuaded to do something and say it was just really compelling or I'm, I'm so excited. I learned about this or the way that was explained to me was just so persuasive. Right? That's that's the good side.
Kory: [00:08:05] And I think we all have experiences with, with both, right. You walk into a car dealership. And you feel immediately pressured. That's not a fun way to be persuaded usually. That's not to say anything bad about car sales when they're not all this way, but, but we all have the experience where at least one time we've gone to a car lot and we've left feeling like just annoyed. And we've also probably all seen a compelling, inspirational video on YouTube or heard someone speak, or maybe even bought something from somebody who you felt was genuine. And so there's a completely different feel to how that conversation took place.
Kellan: [00:08:41] Yeah. Imagine that dreaded experience of having to interact with like a car salesman like you said. Imagine if you 100% knew that they actually had your best interest at heart and that they were going to be completely honest and only do what was going to be for your benefit. Like you would no longer dread that experience. It would be a delightful experience. You'd be so grateful for their help. And yet, because that's not how it usually works. We ended up putting up our guard and we walk away feeling miserable, whether we purchased or not.
So, you know, I've put a lot of thought into this. What makes the difference between that good side and the bad side, the good way of approaching persuasion and the bad way. And I'm a firm believer that it all comes down to your intent and your level of transparency.
So in the world of persuasion, yeah. You know, you hear about like sales tactics, sometimes they're called compliance devices. Persuasion techniques. There's a whole long list of them. People have identified what allows communication to be influential. And many of those are just tricks. They're manipulative. You hear about loaded favors, right? There's this idea of reciprocity where as human beings, if somebody does something for us, we feel obligated to do something for them. And so a door to door salesman might come knock on your door and they hand you a ballpoint pen or a fridge magnet or something that has almost no value, but because they gave you something they've played against your psychology, so that you now feel obligated to comply with whatever they're asking you to do.
There's imaginary competition and extreme hypotheticals and all these different compliance devices out there that really are manipulative. So how do you take one of those and turn it into something that's actually noble and good? Well, like I mentioned, you change the intent or you heighten the level of transparency.
So one of those persuasion techniques or sales tactics is perceived friendship. Well, imagine if you change the intent there and you actually turn that into genuine caring, you've taken that from being a bad thing to a good thing. There's a technique that you see all the time around false limitations. Right. Limited time offer. You have to move forward on this today, or else your chance is gone, or we've only got a limited quantity of this. So hurry and make this decision before you lose your opportunity. That idea of scarcity is often manipulative, but what if you instead heightened your transparency and you turn that from giving false limitations to giving accurate information.
If you're genuinely telling somebody here's the situation and the true limits that do exist, you're helping them in their evaluation process. You're helping them to make a decision or to change their behavior. Yeah. So we don't need to dive into more details around those kinds of techniques necessarily, but I just hope it's clear that persuading others and influencing others, that is the whole point of communication. And it's a good thing, but I would encourage anyone who's trying to approach this topic or any other topic with somebody to do it in a way that's honest and genuine with the right intentions and that open transparency.
Kory: [00:11:47] Yeah. I think that is an excellent opening to the topic. I think most people don't realize that every bit of communication that we have is meant to persuade in some way, and people get scared of the word persuasion or influence or sales, right? Because it sounds immediately manipulative, but I love that you've pointed out that we're always trying to persuade people in any way that we're communicating.
It's just about the intent behind it that changes whether or not that's manipulative. We all know people in our personal lives who are highly manipulative in the way that they communicate. And it's hard to trust those people. If we make ourselves people who are just in general, genuine, transparent, we care for other people, it makes us more influential. will go a long way towards persuading them on the topic of collapse.
Kellan: [00:12:34] Yeah. That's spot on. And honestly, probably the best thing you can do is to already have a solid relationship with that person. I think that's one of the reasons why I was so willing to listen to you when you talked to me about collapse and why you were so effective at teaching me about collapse is because we know each other well, we've been friends almost our whole lives.
So that's a good segue into how to talk to other people about collapse and help them see things the same way that you do. And we won't have time here in this episode to talk about different ways to dive in really deep and present all of the concepts. You know, when you taught me about collapse, it required you actually teaching me over a period of time. And you can't expect that in one five minute conversation, you're going to totally persuade somebody that collapse is inevitable. But at least the initial broaching of the topic and how you bring it up is something that I want to make sure we touch on today.
And I haven't mentioned this to you, but I actually think we should do a handful of episodes on these almost like a mini series within the podcast, because there's so much to talk about here. But to start out, I'm going to tell you something that might seem counterintuitive to some, you might think you know, I need a perfectly crafted message, like a script, and I can just keep refining it until I come up with the most persuasive way to bring up collapse. And I'm convinced that that is the wrong approach. If you try to get a one size fits all message, you're going to run into all sorts of issues. Instead, you need to have something very tailored to who you're speaking to and very tailored to the specific situation.
So kind of a step one here is first, you actually need to look at yourself and what is your desired outcome? Basically, you need to identify why you want to talk to others about this. Is it to not feel lonely? You know, you want someone you can express your feelings around this with, or is it because you want them to be warned of what's coming their way or is it because you're trying to make them change their behavior and not contribute to it? Is it somehow to personally benefit you? You know, are you bringing it up to a neighbor because they've got a bunch of food storage and you want to make sure you build some sort of an Alliance with them early on, something like that. Is it to build a resilient community, you know? Or is this just a topic that you think is fascinating and you want to talk to people about it because you feel like it's kind of fun and crazy, and it feels really epic. If you don't start by knowing what your desired outcome is, then you're not going to have good direction. And where you go, it's kind of the whole Alice in Wonderland idea, right? When she talks to the chest, shyer cat and said something like, which path should I take? And he says, well, where do you want to end up? Where do you want to go? And she said, I don't know. I don't know. And he's like, well, then it doesn't matter which path you take. And I probably totally butchered that paraphrasing of Alice in Wonderland.
Kory: [00:15:31] I wouldn't know. It sounded good.
Kellan: [00:15:33] But you've got to know what influence or impact you're trying to have on the person that you're talking to before, you know how to craft your message. Does that make sense? Is that fair?
Kory: [00:15:43] Yeah, totally
Kellan: [00:15:44] perfect. So I would say once you have that in mind, step two, is that you need to know your audience. Ya know there may be someone who's listening to this podcast who ends up giving a Ted talk on collapse someday. And if that's the case, then you need to know who your collective audience is. But honestly, if that's ever the situation, you'll probably be giving that Ted talk to people who don't really need convincing because most of the people who will listen to a Ted talk on collapse are people who are already aware and are either convinced or interested in learning more.
But in most cases it's more of an interpersonal communication that you're going to be having. And you're going to be talking to a family member or a friend, maybe a coworker, somebody that you know, and you have the opportunity to craft your message to them. Okay.
No personally, I think about trying to approach like my parents with the topic of collapse, and that's going to look very different than the way that I have talked to my wife about it. And that's going to look very different than how I brought it up to some other friends.
If I didn't tailor the approach to what I know about them, then I could count on it being much, much, much less effective.
Kory: [00:16:53] Yeah, that makes total sense. If you wrote down a script of the things that you wanted to say, and you said that the same thing to everybody, not only does each person, you know, learn different ways, but, but also it just takes away from the genuineness that we talked about earlier, right? Not only is each person different, but your relationship with each person is different. And so the concerns that you carry your experiences and history with that person are going to completely differ.
And so you mentioned the phrase that you used was " crafting a message." And to me, that kind of makes it sound like, like almost putting together a presentation, right? Like you're crafting, you're building up your entire message beforehand. Is that what you're saying? Or what does that look like?
Kellan: [00:17:32] Yeah. By me phrasing it that way, it might give the impression that you always have to come up with this really in-depth game plan for how you're going to present it to a specific individual. Sometimes that might be the case. Yeah. But most of the time it's probably going to be more off the cuff kind of an unexpected situation. And that actually leads to the next point. No, if you've identified what your intention is, your desired outcome, you know enough about your audience or whoever you're talking to, to be able to tailor what you say to what's going to land best for them. You also need to identify this setting or the situations in which it makes the most sense to bring it up.
And when I say that I'm talking about, you know, if you consciously want to approach somebody with this topic, you can be a little bit proactive in knowing what kind of situations it would make the most sense to bring that up with them. If it's kind of ad hoc, not something that's planned that might look a little bit different, but even then you've got to have the situational awareness to know this is a good moment to bring this up, or this is a moment that I shouldn't.
Kory: [00:18:32] Yeah, it's almost like for me, I think personally, I don't know that I would ever come up with a plan and be like, okay, tonight's the night I'm going to go talk to X person about collapse. If I'm seeing that person even semi-frequently, to me, it's, I'm looking for the opportunities to bring it up. I already know what this person finds important, and I know where their beliefs lie. So when the conversation comes up in the right way in that right moment, I might slide something in and gauge their interest and go from there.
Kellan: [00:19:00] Yeah. Again, it comes back to that situational awareness. Like it's never going to make sense for me to say, Hey man, condolences on your mom passing away. That kind of reminds me of how doomed our society is.
Kory: [00:19:12] That is a wonderful strategy.
Kellan: [00:19:16] So just recognize that for some people in your life, the right time to bring it up, maybe never. And you touched on that before, but why force it? Right. And you, you mentioned something just barely, which is, you know, test the waters a little bit. You can bring it up to a small degree, see how they respond. If they're interested, or if they're engaging with the topic, awesome, you can talk to them more about it, but you might start talking to them about it or bring up an idea and it goes nowhere and that's okay. Trying to push this on somebody who doesn't want to hear about it is a form of psychological violence. It's just not necessary.
Kory: [00:19:51] And it ruins relationships. I think if you ever start to go the route of sort of the bad side of persuasion and become manipulative and are not respecting that person's desires, you know, that's a great way to isolate yourself from that person and make the situation even worse.
And I think that it's important to note here that there are people who right now are not going to accept the idea of collapse. But who in months, or maybe years down the road will, as their life experiences change as collapsed progresses. There are people who before COVID-19 would have laughed or scorned you for talking about collapse, but who after living through COVID-19 have suddenly said, oh, this makes sense. There's something more going on here and they're more open to hear it. So I wouldn't want anyone to think that we saying take the advice that we're giving about ways to be persuasive and just think that you're going to go talk to everybody about collapse. It doesn't work that way. It's a long game and it's about realizing and learning who may one day be ready and who never will.
Kellan: [00:20:53] Yeah I love that you say that because it really goes back to our initial point of checking what your intent is. So as you think about, you know, talking with somebody, whether it's a planned conversation or whether it just happens moment, you've got to be able to quickly identify what resonates with that person. And start there.
You know, it's interesting. We mentioned the idea of sales and a lot of people who start selling a product or a service, they think, oh, I'm going to start with the features that are kind of crappy aren't all that great. And I'm going to build up to this kind of big, incredible moment where I reveal the feature that just blows their mind.
And yet that's proven to be one of the least effective approaches. Instead you want to start with whatever feature is going to wow them is going to really resonate and get their attention or meet a need. And so it's the same here. When you're talking about collapse with somebody. You think about how many episodes we've already had. What episode is this?
Kory: [00:21:49] I believe this is 49.
Kellan: [00:21:51] So think of how many topics we've discussed. And let's say, you're going to go talk to your dad about collapse. One of these topics is going to land much better than the others. And you probably know there's some of the topics we've talked about that won't land well.
So maybe, you know that your friend that you're starting to have a conversation with thinks that the national deficit and the amount of money that we have to spend just to keep things running is crazy. Well, then the idea of catabolic collapse is going to land well with that person. Or maybe like most of the people that you know, you've got a friend who feels like politics have gotten really rotten. You know, it's during a conversation like that, where you can talk about polarization and you know, how that's likely going to increase with how social media is pushing people into echo chambers , and we're starting to experience bigger and bigger problems.
Or maybe it's somebody who loves animals. It's just a simple fact that you know about them. Then it'll probably resonate most with that person to talk about how sad it is that we've lost, you know, X number of species and how crazy it is that scientists have been able to tie a lot of that directly to climate change.
So I want to discourage the idea of like building up to some big reveal or some grand conclusion, and instead starting with what is going to resonate and make the most sense to whoever you're speaking with.
Kory: [00:23:10] You know, in sort of this realm of being collapse awareness, we use the word collapse a lot. It's in the name of the podcast. It's the name of the sub Reddit. We just, we talk about it as collapse, but that word to a lot of people is what immediately sort of turns them away. I think people think of collapse and it sounds conspiratorial and all these different things. They think that you're kind of a nut job. You don't have to use the word collapse at all when you're talking to somebody and teaching them about collapse. As a matter of fact, you probably shouldn't. What I took from what you just said, Kellan is you know, you don't just walk up to a friend who's concerned about the climbing national debt and go on some diatribe about how we're going to collapse, you know. If you build trust with that person on a topic that they care about and you show that you're knowledgeable on that topic, if you're able to give a stat or a number or a source you read that immediately builds some trust with that person on the topic. If they're concerned about the national debt, and you're able to say something like, yeah, at this rate by 2040, you were supposed to have X amount of debt and that doesn't seem sustainable. That's very different than being like, yeah, man, it's crazy. The whole system's going to collapse. If you say it the first way I said it, you're opening them up to be like, yeah. You know, I feel the same way. It doesn't feel sustainable does it? And you're just opening up to a whole conversation and the word collapse doesn't have to come up the first, the second, the third, the fifth time you talk about it, you just describe it. And basically they come to that conclusion themselves.
Kellan: [00:24:35] Yeah. That is such a good point. And I've actually made a little list here of things, you know, just kind of practical tips and that's one of them. It's important to avoid extremes. In the way that we speak and the language that we use, especially as you're beginning to introduce this to somebody. And collapsed does sound like an extreme word. It sounds like some big sudden crazy thing. Yeah.
And along those lines, it's often important to even downplay it to some degree, at least initially. I know when you introduced me to collapse, if you go back and listen to those first couple of episodes, you kind of downplayed it a little bit as something softer. And then as I began to catch the vision of it more, you even called that out. Like, Hey, I didn't want to sound too crazy, scare you off initially, but I do think we're going to see some of these effects even sooner than what I mentioned before. And he did it in a really honest way. But yeah, avoiding extreme language is super important. If you're going to get people to want to listen to sentence number two or three or four.
Along those lines. There's a couple of aspects of kind of validating what you already know are going to be points of resistance. And what I mean by that is I've found it to be helpful too as I'm telling people about claps to say, yeah, you know, I've been learning about something and honestly, it kind of sounds crazy at first, but as I've learned more about it, it's actually super compelling. If you see what I did there, I validated, Hey, this is going to sound a little bit extreme or a little bit crazy. And that instantly allows somebody to put their guard down and to listen a step or two further than if you just launched right into.
Back to the idea of sales. When I first started in the sales world, there was somebody that I worked with who is an absolute expert and just had this natural ability to help people build interest in something. And I don't think he even knew that he was doing this. It was just kind of part of his personality, but he would always do this like anti sale where he would totally downplay something.
He'd start some of his sentences with something like, hey, this feature is probably something you don't really care about. I'm happy to just move on, you know, or you may not be interested in this. It's it's a little more of XYZ than the ABC you might be looking for. And yet he was able to do that in a way it was kind of strategic to where people would be like, wait, no, no, I do want to see that. And they, their interests would be peaked.
Kory: [00:26:55] So how do you apply that to a conversation around collapse?
Kellan: [00:26:58] So if you're in a casual conversation with a friend, You know, and they're like, Hey, what have you been up to lately? You might say something like, you know, it sounds kind of crazy, but I've actually been spending a lot of my time learning about this fascinating topic. And it's probably not the kind of thing that you're that interested in. Or you might say, I don't know that it's kind of thing you've ever looked into before, or if you've in care, but you know, blah, blah, blah. And that's when you've. Giving yourself room to then pitch the value of it.
Kory: [00:27:23] And like you said, it also allows them to let their guard down a little bit, to feel like you're basically saying I'm not going to pressure you into thinking that what I'm about to say is important. You get to decide if it's important and you want to learn more or not. Which I think is really important because as soon as someone's guard comes up and they feel like you're trying to convince them of something, that's when, you know, sort of the defensiveness starts, or they're trying to find rebuttals instead of having a genuine conversation.
Kellan: [00:27:47] Yeah. And again, there that's the perfect moment to find common ground when it comes to your values or your beliefs, and start there, again starting with what resonates with them.
No, if I know that you absolutely love guns, you've got a collection of guns and he loved firearms. In that moment where I've said yeah I've been learning about stuff. That's super interesting. I don't know if it's kind of thing that interests you or not. But I've been learning that there's like some serious threats to our security, right. You're basically telling them, Hey, you've got an out, you don't have to listen if you don't want to, but then you bring it right back to the exact thing that you know will interest them. And it's not meant to be a trick it's just meant to help put them in the right mindset to want to hear what you have to say.
Kory: [00:28:28] And again, like you said, giving them the option to have an out if they want it.
Kellan: [00:28:32] Yeah. So we talked about kind of validating those concerns somebody might have before they even have to bring it up. Kind of breaking down that initial resistance. We talked about avoiding extremes in our language. Another thing that's really important to avoid is any sort of accusatory language. Collapse is the kind of topics that can easily feel like an accusation. And so when you talk about all the problems that we're facing, it's important to say we, or they, instead of saying you, when you're expressing a heartfelt concern.
Okay. I might feel like my uncle is the kind of person that's causing a whole lot of these problems. But if I want to have any chance of him listening to me, you know, I don't want to go into that conversation saying, listen, every time you drive all the way across town in your gas guzzling truck, to go through the drive-through of that blasted restaurant, that's such a representation of commercialism and you purchase a big burger that took however many thousand gallons of water just to create. That's the kind of thing that's causing problems for our society. As soon as you start pitching anything in accusatory language, of course, somebody's going to. Go into defense mode. Right. And all of a sudden that's going to become an argument.
Kory: [00:29:38] Yeah. That's really well said. And the whole goal of these conversations, I think, is to avoid ever getting into an argument. You always want to have an honest and open conversation, not a battle of knowledge or pride.
Kellan: [00:29:50] Where there's the most danger with this, at least in the U S it seems is anything that could be construed as political. Everything has been politicized. Right. So the moment you start talking about climate change or about government spending or about resource use or anything, it can easily cause somebody to get defensive and think, oh, they're attacking my political view. So it's important again, to use that language of like, we, you know, this is something that I see all of us facing or that we're going through or something that it seems like we need to get better at.
That's going to go so much better than saying, oh, those dang liberals are those dang Republicans. Right. You know, all these ideas that you believe in are causing people like you to blah, blah, blah.
One last thing as just kind of a practical tip for what to avoid is just avoid conspiratorial language. And that should go without saying, I shouldn't even have to mention that, but sometimes, you know, in a community like the collapse community, there's a lot of language that's thrown around that you mention that to somebody else and they've got a very different perception of it.
You mentioned the word collapse and how that's probably one that you don't need to bring up right off the bat. Honestly, I still check out anytime I hear somebody say the phrase, the powers that be, because every time I've met somebody who's a hardcore conspiracy theorist. They're always saying, yeah, it's the power, the powers that be are blah, blah, blah. And the powers that be, it's just, it's just one of those phrases. Yeah. And that might be kind of a silly example, but again, you have to soften it. You want to downplay it to a point that they feel like they can be receptive of it.
Anyways, with that in mind, let me just give a few ideas of how this might come up naturally or how you might approach it in a way that makes sense to people. So Kory, let's say you and I, as friends are hanging out, you don't know anything about collapse. And we have conversations all the time where we just talk, like to talk about random things. That's a good situation for me to say something like, man, do you ever wonder, like, what's the craziest thing that we're going to experience in our lifetimes? Do you think that's happened already? So pretending like we're really having that conversation. What might you say?
Kory: [00:31:50] Yeah. I'd probably say something like, it seems like things have been getting crazier recently, so I could see there being crazier things happening in the future.
Kellan: [00:31:58] And that then has opened the door for me to say like, yeah, I totally agree. It seems like things are just going so crazy lately. In fact, I saw an article the other day and it made it sound like dot dot dot on the horizon. Okay.
Kory: [00:32:09] And then at that point, it's an opportunity for you to see how I react to that because the conversation might end there. If I seem resistant or sort of shut down to it, or I may engage and you may see that I'm actually really interested in what you're talking about and I'm asking questions, and at that point, it's just a back and forth of an exchange of opinion and information. Yeah. And also you gauging my receptiveness as we continued to speak
Kellan: [00:32:32] so that there is just one example, but it's a really simple one. You're not diving right in the collapse. But like you said, you're gauging things as you go, you can ease into the topic. Another one like that, you've probably heard countless times over the last year and a half people say something like, man, hasn't been so crazy to see what this pandemic has done? And from there, it's just such an easy transition. Okay. Right. It's been so crazy to see how society has reacted to this pandemic. And it just seems like it's highlighted some major underlying problems. I've honestly been thinking about it a lot lately, to which, you know, whoever you're talking to might then say yeah, I agree. This is crazy. It just seems like everyone's overreacting to this or that, or, or whatever they say to that. You're probably going to have a chance to then say, okay. Like, yeah. What I've been thinking about with that is it just feels like an indication of this or that. Here's this underlying issue. And the more I've dug into it and the more I've realized we've got all these issues and it makes me worried about the path that we're on. So again, it can be just that natural.
Kory: [00:33:34] Yeah, I really liked that example because I mean, these are conversations that are coming up all over the place and, you know, I've had conversations like this with people who I barely know. It's so easy talk to someone and just be like, Man. It's crazy how smoky it is out here right now. Can you believe this? And they're gonna be like, yeah, it's so crazy. All these fires. You know, it's so easy to bring, to bring that type of stuff up and I even find that more often than me bringing it up, other people are bringing it up themselves and as collapse continues, as we continue down this path, it's going to happen more and more often.
Kellan: [00:34:08] And that brings it back to that situational awareness. We're going to have more and more and more opportunities to bring up these topics because people are going to see more and more of these crazy things around him. And it's just going to naturally result in conversations where we can approach this topic.
So we've talked about some kind of nonchalant ways to start testing the waters, to kind of bring up collapse and, and do it in a gradual fashion. But you might have times where you need a more direct explanation. Somebody might come to you and say, Hey, I saw you posted this online. What's that all about? Or in my case, I've had people come to me and say, I heard something about you and Kory doing like a podcast. What's the podcast? And I found that there's a couple of ways to bring it up that have been more effective than others.
Again, I want to make sure I tailor it to whoever I'm speaking to. If it's somebody with really strong Christian beliefs, that gives me an opportunity to say, yeah, you know how there's all these biblical prophecies about crazy things that would take place at the end of times or the last days, it feels like a lot of that's been going on and it's been fun to be a part of this podcast or to learn about these things that directly relate to that. And immediately they've got a lot of questions for me about. Or in other situations it's worked really well to say. Yeah, I'm glad you asked. I've been learning about some things that are really concerning. Essentially, there's things that we're doing as a society that just aren't super sustainable and I'm becoming more and more convinced that we've got some tough times ahead of us.
And again, almost anybody out there believes that there's tough times ahead of us, whether they're collapse aware or not, whatever their beliefs or values are people tend to think yeah, there's going to be tough times ahead of us. So when I use a phrase like that, they then start to ask more questions. Oh, what do you mean? Or, yeah, totally. It does seem like things are getting crazy. Like what kind of things do you think are going to happen?
In other cases, it's been really easy to just make a succinct statement. For example, somebody in particular that I've talked to about this, I know that they're a very logical person. And so the conversation came up and I just said, it's become apparent that we can't grow infinitely on a finite planet. And that immediately resonated with them. Like, yeah, that makes sense. There's limits to how much we can grow. And I'm able to then talk about limits to growth and Hey, it's crazy that even years ago, this group of MIT researchers plugged all this data into a computer model and it looks like society's heading into a scary trajectory.
I've mentioned before that I've got young kids and I happen to be in conversations frequently with people that also have young kids. And so if you're talking to somebody who's a parent, usually they've got big concerns about what the future looks like for their child or their children. In situations like that, it's really easy to say, man, this is kind of a scary time to raise kids. Isn't it? And I can almost guarantee any parent is going to jump right on that and start to explain, yeah, super scary with social media and with the way the world's going and with these other things that the bullying that takes place in high schools and they start to raise their concerns.
And then you can build on that with statements around. Yeah. It just makes me want to be that much more prepared, you know, with my own family, for the future. In fact, I've been learning about some really compelling evidence out there that's made me think, oh, I've got to take some big steps. And then you start to have that conversation.
So anyways, it goes back to kind of tailoring the situation to who you're talking to, but there are so many ways that you can bring this up in a way that's natural and normal. Isn't going to freak people out. You're finding common ground, common values. You start from there with what resonates with them, keeping in mind all along, what intention you have, what your desired outcome is with the situation and just being tactful and kind in the way that you approach the topic.
Kory: [00:37:43] You know, it's funny, you just brought up the, uh, the example of speaking with a parent and I was just yesterday talking to an acquaintance of mine about how crazy it is to raise children in the world like it is today. And this is not someone who I ever plan on sharing my thoughts about collapse with, as a matter of fact it's my ex-girlfriend's mother. Uh,
Kellan: [00:38:03] I'm just so curious how you ended up in a conversation with your ex-girlfriend's mother
Kory: [00:38:07] long story. We actually ended up talking for like an hour and a half yesterday, but
the conversations come up so naturally. And sometimes I had to like tell myself, you don't need to talk about collapse with this person. Right. And this is a reminder that when we talk about talking to people about collapse. We are not saying you should go out and try and convince everybody of collapse. As a matter of fact, it's probably smart to be very careful and selective with who you do talk to this about.
You don't want to be known as that guy. Who's
because so many people aren't going to latch onto the idea of collapse. No matter how convincing or persuasive or genuine you are, you don't want to be that person that everybody looks at as the guy who just talks about claps all the time on the person that talks about claps at the time, Kaelyn talked early on about having a purpose, knowing what your purpose is for communicating these ideas with people.
And you know, of the hundreds of people that we each know, there's probably a select handful of people that I really want to share this information with. And those people are usually going to be the ones who you have the most trusting and established relationships with already. One thing to point out with this is that there's a responsibility behind talking to someone about collapse. You know, me and Kellan feel the weight of this running this podcast.
You know, it comes up, but in our private conversations about the impact that we're having on people and hoping that those impacts are positive. Because once you've sort of put this information on someone, most people, if they accept it and truly start to understand it and learn more and believe it, it has an impact on them. That me and Kellan have been extremely lucky that all of the feedback that we've received has been about how the podcast, for example, has helped with people's mental health.
They find it oddly comforting. For some reason, we've been shocked by the amount of people that have told us that.
But I. I think that it goes back to what Kelly mentioned about genuinely caring. We're not trying to throw out some sensationalized content just to shock people. We try to be really honest and transparent and open in the in the way that we're communicating so that people can learn and be able to make the best decisions for themselves. And so it's really important to understand that responsibility as you communicate it with other people.
Kellan: [00:40:10] And I'll just say that I know the topic of collapse can be consuming. I mean, Kory you and I spent a lot of time thinking and talking about it. I wrote a song about it, but if all you ever want to do is talk to people about collapse. If that's the only topic you want to bring up, then maybe take a break from Reddit or take a break from this podcast if you need to. Go do some other things and, and enjoy aspects of life outside of this one topic.
That said there is something really important about being able to share this information with other people. No, Kory you and I have felt kind of this larger purpose in what we're doing here with the podcast, as we've seen so many people, like you said, reaching out to us and saying, thank you for the podcast. It's helping me with my mental health. It's helping me to cope. It's helping me to understand the world around me better. Helps me feel at ease or, or more prepared or more empowered to make change, or to build a resilient community around me. There's so many good things that being aware of this conversation and everything, you know, that we've been talking about here, can do for people.
And so whatever your desired outcomes are, As you talk with the individuals around you. I hope that we can build the awareness and then the interest, and then collectively bring enough people along with us in this community that we can actually create some real positive change.
Kory: [00:41:30] Yeah. Very well said. I think that I have found and have been surprised at people's receptiveness, this topic. People who I know personally, who I never would have expected to necessarily agree with it, but, you know, I've found out that they are harboring a lot of the same sort of doubts or fears for the future. And I think that's one reason why people say the podcast is helping them because they'd had these anxieties and these fears that they didn't really understand and, and educating someone on why they're feeling that way helps them to sort of resolve those anxieties.
Kellan brought up earlier that at some point, people might come to you with questions that allow you to be more blunt in your communication. I think you'll also find that in your, in your conversations with people, maybe you've brought it up a couple of times. Maybe they've asked good questions. At some point, you have shown yourself to be knowledgeable on the topic, someone that they enjoy talking to, and you may realize, okay, now's a good time for me to kind of take it to the next step. But for a lot of people, they may not feel that knowledgeable on the topic. May not know the facts and the numbers and the articles and everything off the top of your head that you can just spit those things out.
I'm that way I don't, I mean, I've done a podcast on them, but a lot of the numbers that we've talked about I've forgotten since and it's really hard to think of those in the moment.
So I think it is always good to have a resource or several resources that you can share with people when they are ready to learn more. And you don't feel like you can fully explain it all to them. You know, there are tons of cool resources for people who are ready to hear about it. You know, there's the little cartoon YouTube video called there is no tomorrow. And that was the first video I ever watched on collapse that I really connected with. There's Sid Smith's talk on entropy for someone who might be a little more intellectual. There's books, like limits to growth or fiction, like parable of the sower. And again, the very purpose for creating this podcast was to be a resource for you to use to help explain the process of collapse in a non sensationalized way.
Kellan: [00:43:33] Yeah. I would hope this is a resource that people can be sent to if they're learning about collapse. They could listen along as I've learned about it. And you mentioned those other resources as well.
Kory: [00:43:43] And there are hundreds of them, by the way, you know, so many books and lectures and articles and music and different things that will touch different people. So once again, it's just about knowing your audience and what's going to connect well with them and getting them to the right resource that's going to help them to continue to learn.
Kellan: [00:43:58] So as we wrap up this conversation, one thing that I meant to bring up earlier is just something to always keep in mind anytime you're dealing with trying to persuade another person to think or feel differently. It goes all the way back to Aristotle who came up with his three modes of persuasion. He talks about ethos, logos and pathos. And if you haven't ever heard of those ethos, it's about establishing your authority to speak on a subject, right? Your authority, your credibility, why somebody should listen to you. Logos is just logic. It's your logical argument for whatever point you're making and Pathos has to do with emotion. It's your attempt to sway an audience emotionally . And so there has to be the right blend of those items. Obviously you'd love all of them to be at the absolute max, if you want to be the most persuasive.
When it comes to credibility, authority, if you're sharing resources with somebody pointing them to the kind of resources that they will easily trust.
So make sure the authority is always there. You talked about numbers, Kory, and how you it's good to have certain numbers or certain facts that you can share, even if you can't always remember all of them. That's how you make a logical argument is with evidence. And then if you can always include some element of what impacts a person's emotions, what they're going to be emotionally invested in. That's what we're talking about. When we're talking about what resonates with people and tailoring your message to them. Touch on the subtopics and use the kind of phrases that will be emotionally engaging to them anyways. that ethos, logos pathos super important. And it's something we'll dive into in future conversations about how to bring up collapse with others.
I know as I prepared a lot of this information, my intent was to try to share some general principles around persuasion and also a few practical tips and advice around how to bring up collapse in a more passive way or a more active way. But I personally would love to hear what has worked for all of you out there that are listening to this episode. I'm sure you've had similar experiences to what I've had, things that have worked and things that haven't worked.
And so for anyone who's willing, if you'll share those with us, we'd love to hear about your experiences and where appropriate, you know, share those when we circle back to this topic in the future.
Kory: [00:46:15] Yeah. I think there are a lot of great things that we talked about today, and I think there are also a lot of things that we didn't have time to get to. And that would be great to talk about, uh, in a separate episode later. So, Kellan I feel like I, learned a lot. I feel like it's kind of giving me a different perspective on approaching people with this topic. We find that learning about collapse is a total paradigm shift for most people. It was for me when I learned about it, I'm guessing it was for you.
But I also think that it can be a bit of a paradigm shift for us as collapse aware people to consider the right ways to approach people on this, because it's so easy to want to just blurt out everything that we know all at once. But I think that the principles that we learned in this episode will help those who want to, to be able to approach people more appropriately. So thanks again for preparing the episode and we will talk again next week. .