anything goes with emma chamberlain - the seduction of "hard to get," a talk with emma

Episode Date: February 11, 2024

i had an epiphany recently and it's been really fascinating because it's about a belief that i've had that i wasn't fully conscious of. the subconscious belief that i've carried almost my whole life i...s that people who are harder to get are better. people who are harder to get can provide more value in my life. this is a belief that if i had spoken it sooner, i would've demolished it sooner because i know in my conscious brain that it’s not true. but for some reason, i've always believed that. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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Starting point is 00:00:00 So I had an epiphany recently big shocker huge shocker I bet you've never heard me say those words before I had an epiphany recently bet you've never heard me say that No, I actually start every episode with that exact phrase and you're probably getting sick of it But there's no way to get around it. You know if an episode sprung out of an epiphany. I cannot Weasel my way around that fact. I must state it at the beginning of the episode. Majority of my podcast episodes stem from an epiphany. So maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe it's okay. Maybe you're not annoyed with me saying that in the beginning of 90% of my episodes. Maybe you love it. Maybe it excites you.
Starting point is 00:00:42 Maybe I'm just insecure today. It actually might be that. I kind of am having an insecure day. Like, I just woke up feeling like the world was mad at me. It's the worst fucking feeling. It's the worst feeling because no one's mad at me. Quite literally no one's mad at me. And ironically, if I annoy the people around me
Starting point is 00:01:03 asking them, are you mad at me? Are you mad at me for no reason, they actually might become mad at me. So that's a brief little peek into my brain today that you didn't ask for, but that's my head space right now. So, I'm being a complete nuisance. As you know, I had an epiphany recently within the last few months, and it's been a really
Starting point is 00:01:30 fascinating epiphany because it's about a belief that I've had that I wasn't fully conscious of. And I've found that subconscious beliefs can be even more powerful at times than conscious beliefs. Powerful in the sense that they impact your day-to-day life even more than conscious beliefs at times. Because conscious beliefs are sort of a choice. You're fully aware of them.
Starting point is 00:02:01 They're in the front of your mind all the time. You speak about them a lot. You feel in control of conscious beliefs. Whereas subconscious beliefs, they impact your behavior. They impact the choices that you make, but you're not even fully aware that it's there. It's almost like, I wanna use the word parasite, but that's just not the right word.
Starting point is 00:02:23 It's like almost being possessed by an evil spirit. Not necessarily by an evil spirit. Subconscious beliefs possess you in a way that sort of takes away your control of your life in a way because it impacts the decisions that you make and it impacts what you do, but you don't even notice that you're doing it. Do you know what I'm saying? The subconscious belief that I've carried almost my whole life is that people who are harder to get are better.
Starting point is 00:02:54 People who are harder to get can provide more value in my life. People who are harder to get are worth striving to have in your life most of the time. Nachos! Hey, I'll take some. And some Frank's Red Hot. Nah.
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Starting point is 00:03:20 Makeup wipes? We're done. You promised me so much. Late nights, quick fixes. It sounded great, but you always left a mess. Honestly, you're straight up irritating. I've been vibing with Garnier My Siller water lately. I can trust it with dirt, SPF, waterproof makeup.
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Starting point is 00:03:57 Yes, we can deliver that. Uber Eats! Get almost almost anything. Order now. Product availability may vary by region. See out for details. Saying this out loud is icky to me. It's gross to me. I hate saying it out loud because this is a belief that if I had spoken it sooner, I would have demolished it sooner. I would
Starting point is 00:04:17 have gotten rid of it sooner because I know in my conscious brain that that's not true. But for some reason, I've always believed that and it took a handful of friendships and relationships to make me realize that that's not the case. I mean, I think this discovery started maybe a year or two ago with some really automatic, beautiful friendships that were not challenging to acquire. But within the last few months, it really became vivid to me that I've subconsciously had it all wrong. I think this applies more to relationships, romantic relationships than it does to friendships, but it definitely applies to friendships as well. I think the epiphany from me stemmed more from various experiences in romantic relationships, but arguably it started with good friendships.
Starting point is 00:05:13 But to sort of flesh out my belief that people who are harder to get are in some way better or more valuable, let me give you some examples. I subconsciously used to believe that a friend group that is harder to break into is the ideal group to be in. Subconsciously, I thought they must be hard to break into because they're such great friends and they have such high standards that they only let good people into their group. Therefore, I should strive to be better to get into their group or they're so cool and they have such good taste and this, this and that people into their group, therefore I should strive to be better to get into their group.
Starting point is 00:05:45 Or they're so cool and they have such good taste and this, this and that, that they only want to be around people who are on their level. And that's why they're such a hard group to break into. A challenging friend group to enter to me was a sign of superiority. Like I was like, there's a reason why their friend group is hard to get into. There's a reason why it's not easy for me to get into this group. It's because I'm not as good as them. I need to make myself better to get into their group, you know?
Starting point is 00:06:14 In romantic relationships, I've always loved a man who's hard to get. I've always been more attracted to a man who's hard to get. In my head, I used to think they're challenging to get because they're probably a dream to date. They have to be so picky because they're such great partners and everyone wants to be with them. So they don't like me back
Starting point is 00:06:33 because they're just drowning in options and they have to make the right choice because they're such a catch. You know, they're probably so emotionally available and so romantic and so sweet and so caring and so thoughtful. That must be what it is Okay, I guess I associated challenge with value the more challenging something is to acquire the more value that it holds Today, I'm mainly talking about relationships with other people, but this could also apply to anything. Honestly, like, let's say you're comparing two colleges, two universities. Most of us
Starting point is 00:07:12 automatically assume that we should go to the college or to the university that's harder to get into because that means that the school is better, right? Or with a job, which job is harder to get? Which is a more prestigious position that probably is a better job to get? Now, the thing that's so complicated about all of this is that as with almost all things, two things can be true at once. Something that's hard to get can actually be good for you. It can actually provide a lot of value. It can be worth striving for but not always and I think that that's where my prior belief was toxic because I didn't give people or things or opportunities a fair judgment because I was like it's too easy. It's right here and immediately in my mind I was like that means it's not as valuable. I should search for something more challenging to acquire. You see what
Starting point is 00:08:08 I mean? But there are a lot of times when things that are right there in your life are a phenomenal option and they shouldn't be overlooked. I think a lot of us get the ick from mutual desire. Now, this mainly applies to relationships, but this could also apply to, again, anything like jobs, schools, et cetera. I think as humans we're put off by things that are too easy sometimes. So I read an article on
Starting point is 00:08:44 about why it's ingrained in a lot of us to be put off by mutual desire. Number one, we're excited about the thrill of the chase. I mean, there's something almost drug-like about chasing something. It consumes you completely. It's sort of an escape in my experience. I mean, I don't know if that's something that everyone experiences, but when I'm chasing something, it feels like I'm under a spell. I am fully tunnel-visioned, whether it's having a crush on someone, or it's wanting to break into a friend group, or it's wanting to get a certain job that's really challenging.
Starting point is 00:09:23 Like whatever it may be, it's like tunnel vision to have a goal and to be like, I'm gonna chase that to the end. Yeah, I think a lot of us are excited about what's at the end of that journey, but there's something addicting about the journey there too. I mean, I love chasing something. It's stressful, it's emotionally turbulent, but it consumes me in a way that
Starting point is 00:09:46 takes me away from other stressors in my life. Like if I'm obsessed with a boy and I have a huge crush on a boy and he's hard to get, I'll tell you, I'm not stressed out about work. You know what I mean? I'm not stressed out about my career. I'm not stressed out about my health or the health of anyone else. Like I have a lot of anxiety. I get health anxiety about myself, my loved ones. Sometimes I get career like I have a lot of anxiety. I get health anxiety about myself my loved ones. Sometimes I get career related anxiety. A lot of times I get career related anxiety like I have so much anxiety when I have a huge crush on a boy. I don't have anxiety. I only have anxiety about this boy. It's kind of amazing. You know what I'm saying?
Starting point is 00:10:20 So I think we love the chase because it's exciting and it's exhilarating, but also because it can be a distraction. A lot of us also find being accepted by a challenging to get person or thing will validate us because we put those things on a pedestal. And if we're validated by those figures on the pedestal, then that means we're brought up to their level. It's validating. So we crave that. But putting things on a pedestal is all a figment of our imagination. I mean, we could debate right now about whether or not anything belongs on a pedestal. Does anything belong in a pedestal?
Starting point is 00:10:57 I mean, my personal belief is, yeah, ah, no, you know what? No, I actually don't think anything belongs on a pedestal because I think it's always taken too far. I mean, maybe there's a way to have a healthy relationship with putting things up on a pedestal in a way that doesn't make us feel insecure, in a way that doesn't make us feel small, in a way that doesn't put the wrong things on the pedestal, maybe. But I think for the most part, we don't utilize the pedestal correctly. And it ends up just being unhealthy for us.
Starting point is 00:11:31 Like we look at somebody who has maybe a more prestigious job than us, and we put them on a pedestal and it's like, yeah, but are they happy? Do they even like their job? I don't know. Do you see what I'm saying? That's a whole other topic for another day, but validation feels good and being accepted by a figure of some sort that we put on a pedestal Feels good and it satisfies our ego
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Starting point is 00:12:17 Book tickets at This article also mentioned low self-esteem. When you have low self-esteem, you're hungrier for validation. You're hungrier for an intense validation. And we don't feel as validated by something or someone who was easy to get. It's a less intense form of validation. So when your self-esteem is really low, you're going to be more likely to choose things that will
Starting point is 00:12:46 give you a huge boost if accepted by them. Does that make sense? And I think that explains why I've always liked boys who are hard to get is that I've always had particularly low self-esteem when it comes to dating. I've always, always had low self-esteem with dating. I think it started, well, there's many places it could have started, but most notably in middle school and high school, I was a late bloomer. The boys would make fun of me because I had... My body was not as developed and so they they wanted to see boobies and I didn't have boobies and it was just like, ew, Emma's gross because of that. And
Starting point is 00:13:22 ever since then, I think I've always felt like less of a woman in a weird way. Like that scarred me, you know? Not having the physical attributes that are most womanly was an issue in middle school and high school. And it reared its ugly head and it was shoved in my face. And I was made very aware of it.
Starting point is 00:13:41 And I think that fucked with me. I also think not being a super hyper feminine woman, just by nature, like the clothes that I wear, even the way that I speak, my voice, you know, what my voice sounds like, like all of these things are not stereotypically hyper feminine. And that's also made me self conscious. It's like not feeling like this proper woman in a way and
Starting point is 00:14:08 all that has bothered me for a long time and it's something I'm Sort of getting over now In a way, but yeah, that's always impacted my self-esteem and relationships And so it makes sense that I've always liked guys who are hard to get because I've always had low self-esteem in that area Also according to this article, we as humans have a tendency to unconsciously place superhuman characteristics on our object of desire, which again puts them on that pedestal that makes them feel so irrationally exciting when they're really just human like everyone else. Or the opportunity is good Yeah, maybe on paper, but it's probably not what you think it's gonna be
Starting point is 00:14:49 Like a good example is with dating we really fill in the gaps When we're chasing someone who is kind of playing hard to get We don't know that much about them. They're playing hard to get they're removed from us We don't have access to them in the way that we want to. Our imaginations run wild. Like, oh, I bet they're so emotionally available. I bet the sex is amazing with them. I bet they're probably so romantic. We'll probably get married. Like, you know what I mean? It's so easy to go there or with a job opportunity. It's so easy to be like, oh my God, if I got this job, everything else in my life would be fixed. It would somehow solve every problem I have.
Starting point is 00:15:30 And yeah, maybe that's true, but probably not. Those are all superhuman, paranormal, arguably paranormal wrong word, but only where I can think of. You know what I mean? And last but not least from this article, the less the person or opportunity or thing reciprocates, the more time we tend to invest trying to get the thing, the person, the opportunity. And there's something about spending time on something that makes us more invested.
Starting point is 00:16:05 The more time we spend invested on something, the more determined we are to get the result that we want. Because we don't wanna waste time. Ew, we don't wanna waste time. Ew, that's, no, we don't want that. That's a horrible feeling. To feel like we wasted time, horrible feeling. Now, some would argue there's no such thing as
Starting point is 00:16:22 wasting time because you always learn something from working towards something and I think that's true but we can still feel like we've wasted time and that sucks. That sucks. That's a shitty feeling. You know what I mean? So the more time we spend trying to get this thing the more invested we feel in it. We're gonna feel more invested in something that's hard to get than something that was just handed to us. But see, the epiphany I had, I think is going to change my life. Someone or something's value has nothing to do with how hard you worked to get it. They're not related. In my head, before they were related, the level of challenge directly correlated with the value in my head before. The epiphany I had was, uh-uh, those two things are unrelated.
Starting point is 00:17:11 Those are two separate variables. They are not connected at all. Now, sometimes they are, for example, a really phenomenal potential partner could be really sought after and they could be harder to get because they're genuinely a great person and everyone wants to date them. Yeah, maybe, but somebody who's hard to get can also be a horrible, horrible person. Trust me, someone you really don't want in your life. There might be a job opportunity that's super shiny.
Starting point is 00:17:42 And when you get the job, it's actually great and you love the job and you're happy that you got the job and it did improve your quality of life to an extent. But also, you could see this shiny job and be like, I need to get this job and you could finally get the job and then be like, I'm miserable and I hate this job and I miss my old job. It's like, again, it's not directly correlated. It just simply is not. When it comes to relationships with people, romantic or platonic, a lot of times the people who are hard to get are not the people for you,
Starting point is 00:18:15 like majority of the time, because in healthy relationships, the love, the admiration, the excitement is mutual. You know, that's what is the foundation of good relationships across the admiration, the excitement is mutual. That's what is the foundation of good relationships across the board is mutual feelings. There's a rare occasion when people play hard to get with you because they're playing a game
Starting point is 00:18:37 and they really like you, but they just want to use psychology to make you like them more. Yeah, that happens. But I'd say for the most part part people play hard to get for other reasons Maybe they're not even playing hard to get they just don't like you like that They don't want to be friends with you. They don't want to date you It feels like they're playing hard to get but it's like no, they just don't like you which is fine That's human and if they are playing a little
Starting point is 00:19:03 Psychological game and playing hard to get to make you like them more, is that really somebody that you want? You want a relationship built on games? Ugh, trust me, I've done it, but it's just, it's, ugh. You don't want that, it's so exhausting. I think a lot of the best relationships happen automatically, seamlessly. Like my two best friends, I met them through work and we became friends because while working
Starting point is 00:19:29 together we just started talking. This is my stylist Jared and his boyfriend Owen. We just naturally became friends through working together and then we just naturally started hanging out and there was never any pushback. I was never fighting to become friends with them They were never fighting to become friends with me. It just sort of happened. It was right in front of me and They're phenomenal friends to me And when I think of even longer term friendships like friends that I've had for seven eight years All of those friendships started in a similar way.
Starting point is 00:20:06 They were so easy. They were so automatic. I was never fighting to get into, no, it just happened. Right? All the friends that I made because I really wanted to be friends with them and I fought to be friends with them and I made a really strong effort to be friends with them.
Starting point is 00:20:24 All of those friendships have fizzled. And I've done that a lot over the course of my life. Try to break into this friend group, try to break into that friend group. You know, I'm like, oh, I wanna be in this group. It's so appealing. Those friendships don't last in my experience anyway. I've not retained any of those friendships, none.
Starting point is 00:20:41 And obviously, all the guys that I've dated that have been really hard to get, where are they now? Not with me, not with me. Because with all those boys, one of three things has happened. Either number one, they never liked me back, and then I just let it go. Or they were just playing a game and they did like me back, but then our relationship was built on games. So then that's destined for failure. And then option number three, they're playing hard to get because they liked me, but not that much. They didn't like me enough. The feelings weren't mutual.
Starting point is 00:21:12 I liked them more than they liked me. And they liked me, but they didn't like me enough. So of course that was also destined for failure. You see, every relationship I've had that started with somebody being hard to get, which is most of them, absolutely blew up in flames. I think a lot of us get grossed out in romantic situations when someone likes us a lot. Like, we're like, ew, what's that?
Starting point is 00:21:37 Ew, like, you're creepy. Why do you like me so much? Like, a lot of us do that. A lot of us have that reaction, but no, it's so much better to date someone who likes you just as much as you like them. Maybe even it feels like they like you a little more than you like them.
Starting point is 00:21:57 So many of us are put off by that. I was put off by that for years, but it's so no. In the beginning, you may have feelings where you're like, oh, I don't know, like this is too easy. Like this is not a challenge. I'm kind of like, you might even get the ick from it. You might even get the ick from mutual desire, but it's worth pushing through to see
Starting point is 00:22:20 if you can come around to the mutual feelings. That's a huge recommendation I have for people. Weight it out. If someone likes you back or someone likes you first, give them a chance a little bit before you. If you're like, oh, I think I do like them, but I don't know, I'm kind of grossed out because they like me back too much.
Starting point is 00:22:39 Give them a chance before you fully blow it off. I just see so many people in my life blowing people off the second that they find out that the liking is mutual because they're like, ew, now I'm grossed out. It can be a wasted opportunity, I think. It's really worth pushing through because I think the best romantic relationships are formed on mutual obsession and excitement.
Starting point is 00:23:03 I don't know. Maybe obsession is the wrong word. That's kind of an extreme word, but you get what I mean. Like when you like someone so much and then the second that they like you back, you don't like them anymore, that feeling where you're like, oh, I don't like them anymore, that is short lived.
Starting point is 00:23:17 Don't end it the second that that happens. Don't cut that person off. Don't say, oh, I'm done now. Wait it out a minute. Give it a minute. I'm serious. See what happens. Just see what happens. Hey see what happens cuz I think that's Where a good relationship is born. I don't know Call me crazy for that, but I don't know I'm just saying And when it comes to
Starting point is 00:23:41 opportunities in life a certain job a certain school a certain comes to opportunities in life, a certain job, a certain school, a certain city to live in, whatever it may be, just because it's harder to get doesn't mean it's good for you. I'll give an example. Let's say you have two job opportunities. One pays more money and is harder to get, but requires you to work seven days a week and you have to be available 24 seven to answer calls for this job. Like it is a full-time job. And then let's say the other job is an easier job to get. It's less prestigious.
Starting point is 00:24:13 It requires less training, less of a flex to say in conversation, but you only have to work four days a week and a lot of cool people work there and you're gonna make enough money to be comfortable. To many people, that first job opportunity is more appealing. More money, more bragging rights, harder to get, better. Like, that's an opportunity that should be taken. And the second job just sort of looks like,
Starting point is 00:24:39 oh yeah, I mean, I could live happily with that job as well, but it's not as much of a flex. It's not as much of an accomplishment to have this job. So I'm going to choose the harder one. Well, this becomes a question of what makes something valuable. If something's valuable to you because it gives you bragging rights, it's impressive, it's shiny. Okay.
Starting point is 00:25:01 Well, then go ahead with that. I think something's valuable when it improves your quality of life. It allows you to live a happy, fulfilling life. So that other job, four days a week, good people around, a little bit less money, a little bit less prestigious, like that is a better option in my eyes because that option would make you happier. You have time to pursue hobbies. You have the opportunity to make new friends.
Starting point is 00:25:26 Like, you know what I mean? This all comes down to what your definition of value is. What is your definition of value? For me, it's what is going to be the most fulfilling. What is going to create the best quality of life, et cetera. That's what it is. And I think the reason why this is such an important conversation is because a lot of
Starting point is 00:25:46 us waste so much time chasing things that are hard to get because we're like, ah, in order to be successful, we must acquire as many things that are hard to get as possible. But in reality, that's not the case necessarily. Don't get me wrong, there are things that are hard to get that are worth getting. And I don't ever want to discourage anyone from striving for that. But I guess it's like, in order to strive for that responsibly, you have to ask yourself why you're striving for that, you know? Like me trying to date a guy who's hard to get, it's like, why am I doing that?
Starting point is 00:26:18 Am I doing that because I ultimately want to be in a happy relationship? Or am I doing that because I feel insecure and I want the validation? Or am I doing that because I've placed superhuman powers on this person? Why am I doing it? Do I want to get this job because it's fulfilling for me, truly, even though it's hard or challenging? Or do I want to get this job because there's bragging rights associated?
Starting point is 00:26:39 Why do I want this job? You know what I'm saying? It's all of that. Because I really do think that to live a fulfilled life, you have to remove ego from your choices. You have to remove ego from the way that you decide to do things. Only then can you make the most responsible decisions for your own life. Because there is no formula, right? It's not like things that are hard to get, good, things that are easy to get bad, too easy. It's not that. It's a case by case basis. Life becomes so much
Starting point is 00:27:11 easier when we allow ourselves to enjoy things that are easy to get. A friend group that warmly welcomes us in, someone who we have a crush on who really likes us back, maybe even more than we do. Like, you know what I'm saying? A job that presented itself in such an organic and easy way that we feel qualified to do, that's going to allow us to live the life that we want to live. You know what I mean? I don't know. I'm stoked about this epiphany though, because I think it's going to impact every corner of my life in a positive way. You know, all the relationships in my life across the board right now are relationships that happen naturally, happened easily, that have complete mutual feelings, you know?
Starting point is 00:27:56 No one's playing hard to get. No one is just simply hard to get. There's none of that. I have a few career goals that are a bit harder to get, but I also have some career goals that are not at all. I don't know, let me know what you think. Hey, as always, as always, let me know what you think. Do you agree with me?
Starting point is 00:28:15 Do you think I'm off base? What do you think? You can let me know on the Instagram at anything goes. You can check out my coffee company, Chamberlain Coffee. Go to, see if we're in a store near you, use the store locator, or you can order online, which is epic. We have coffee, we have matcha, we have cute accessories,
Starting point is 00:28:36 we have almost everything you could need for a sacred morning beverage ritual, or afternoon beverage ritual. I mean, whenever you drink your beverages that are caffeinated. We do have decaf though, so you know, whatever at ChamberlainCoffee on Instagram. Give it a little peek. I love you all and appreciate you all hanging out with me today It's always a pleasure. It's always such a pleasure. Just getting my thoughts out with you
Starting point is 00:28:59 What do I love more than that? Not a lot of things. There are definitely some things, you know, that I love more than it But it's this is up there for me. I love more than that. Not a lot of things. There are definitely some things, you know, that I love more than it, but it's, this is up there for me. I love it. So don't get me wrong. I love our time together. There are many things that I enjoy more, but no, I'm kidding.
Starting point is 00:29:14 Anywho, I love all of you. I appreciate all of you. Thank you for tuning in. New episodes every Thursday and Sunday. Stream anywhere you get podcasts. Watch video exclusively on Spotify. I'll talk to you so soon. I'm gonna talk to you so soon It'll be sooner than you think
Starting point is 00:29:28 All right. Love you all talk to you later

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