Is Link Actually Competitive?

Welcome to Ear Biscuits, the podcast where two lifelong friends talk about life for a long time Sometimes a really long time

I'm Link And I'm Rhett This week at The Round Table Of Dim Lighting is the second part of our podcast The conversation that we just finished That we recorded last, that you listened to last week, but we sat down and we recorded it all at the same time

Basically what happened as we indicated last week is that we were having a conversation about board games, and I brought up my repeated accusation of Link, which is that I feel that he is just as competitive as me, and that opened a huge can of worms about, pooh, man, it just got, it got deep And I don't know exactly when Kiko is gonna decide, so what we're about to play for you in the conversation, it might overlap a little bit, it might backtrack a little bit with where last week's ended before we cut in, I don't know Kiko, how you are gonna do this? But I think this is an important conversation And I think it will make you feel better to know that we've had this conversation already that you're about to listen to, and everything is okay Yeah, we're still good

We are okay, it got kind of intense in a couple of places, but I think it was a good conversation I'm glad that it happened I don't know how you're going to interpret it, but as we said at the end of last week, as you interact with this conversation, as you listen to it, and then as you talk about it online, we would just ask that in the spirit that we tried to embody, as we had the discussion, which is a spirit of goodwill, I would say It's like we said some hard things or whatever, but the whole point of this is, it's not for it to become some competition between the two of us where you're like, well, I think that Rhett was right or I think that Link was right or How can we be illuminating in the way that we continue the conversation, right? How can you be illuminated? How can we all understand each other more? Yeah, and what does this make you think about yourself? Not just what you think about one or both of us, but like how do you relate to some of the things that we're seeing and what does it make you think about your own personal journey and the way that you see the world? And maybe this is, I mean, maybe this is the end of the conversation, but it's the beginning of the conversation And I'm not talking about this episode I don't know, I'm just, I don't know how much it like I mean, I- I just wanna talk about it

We made it sound like this is crazy Yeah, I don't think it's crazy We built it up too much Yeah, we built it up It's just a conversation about board games became a conversation about our friendship and the way that we view the interplay between the two of us

Well, just, and here it is, and now you can listen to it Here it is Ultimately everybody wants to be important in some way, right And people who are in entertainment kind of achieve that and find their purpose a lot of times in, eliciting a reaction from people And I would say that you are actually even more focused and committed to getting a reaction from a crowd or from a individual than I am

You think about like the way that your super, I'm much less concerned about things like, where is this thing and where is the camera, and I'm not showing, I'm not opening this box in the right way In my mind, that's all competitive nature It's like you have a commitment to excellence, and you're thinking about competitiveness in like, I'm throwing a ball faster than a person or not, but you actually care about that stuff more than I do And I would call that sort of, I would almost say it's a relentless pursuit of doing things in a certain way Perfection is not, I mean- I interpret that as- Is attained by comparison to like a standard

Yes But I think it's a stretch to say that that's competition, like I'm competing against the standard Now I also think this is, I think it's a little muddied by, I don't know Do you get from me in this conversation that like I judge you for being competitive? Yes That, and I think, that's interesting because I think that's really what's going on is that your counterpoint is you feel judged by me for being competitive

I think what- And so then you're trying to put it on me And I hear you say is that like- Hey man, I just don't I am superior- I don't Because I'm not competitive I don't bother with like wanting to win a stupid game for somebody, that's kind of- But I don't believe that, I don't believe that

I think you're, I just, I don't think that's happening And I guess, and what I'm saying, so that's part of it, but I also what I'm, one of the things I'm saying is that I feel like our entire career is based on a competition ultimately I think there's a competition against ourselves and against our like, looking back on something that we did and not liking it and wanting to do better Well, but seeing that as a competition is because you're a competitive person I just don't, like we're not competing against ourselves trying to- But we're also constantly competing against each other

So you're saying like- That's part of it as well It's like, you think about the way me and you like to divide everything up like, so, all right, we're gonna do this meeting, so you're gonna say these things and I'm gonna say these things, don't say more than me, and we're both equally committed to that And so if you think I just don't think I view that as a competition, but- But what is it if it's not a competition? It's something that I care about deeply, that's a different thing that, again, I'm not judging you if you see it as a competition Well, if it's not a competition- But I don't, but that's just the, that's the way you look at the world

And when you see me act in the way that you would, again, I think it's something different, like me being a perfectionist to a flawed point, absolutely Like I could be defensive about like, yeah, I'm, I think about how I open boxes like whatever you are, I know exactly what you're talking about Well, I'm saying that I think that that, and I don't think that's a bad thing ultimately is what I'm saying I think that that is a sign of someone But I'm saying there are things about me, like I'm a perfectionist, just like you could say, I'm a competitive person

Let's just, and I'm saying, well, there were flaws associated with that, but I'm not putting that on, I'm not judging you being competitive I'm saying the only thing, I guess I was insinuating was sometimes when you're not competitive and you're around competitive people, it doesn't, it's not a good time, but that's not a judgment on that, because you're a bad person Yeah, I think what I am saying is, I mean, I think that is part of it, but I think what I'm saying is that my understanding of the competitive spirit is something that I think that there are elements of your personality that are based in a competitive spirit Yes, that's true And much more than you give yourself credit for it because I don't think it's a bad thing, right, because, and whether you want to use the term 'competitive' or not, but it's just like, and I think that the competition, and I don't mean the staged competition, but in every relationship, every marriage, every creative partnership, there is healthy competition

If there is not healthy competition, then it's just one person just doing everything and getting their way, but that isn't, that isn't the nature of our partnership It's just like I fight for ideas, you fight for ideas You have things that are important to you, I have things that are important to me, and we fight for those things, right And the creative process is, is based in a competitive spirit, I think For you

I think for me, I want things just as badly as you do and for good reasons and bad reasons, but I just don't, I don't look, I don't look at that through a lens of competition as readily as you do And I look through a different lens depending on what the example is And I just think that's how we see things differently and things resonate with us differently Like the more something is overtly competition, the more I am going to shrink from it, and the more you are going to engage with it I think that's the definition

To me that's the definition of, are you competitive person? When you're faced with some of this obviously competitive, how do you respond? And, again, with no judgment attached to that Yeah, I get that Yeah, I think it's very simply that I see it as broader than that Like I think that even like we talked about this for years, like when we, when me and you are, like when we're performing, it's just like, are you tell I refuse to believe that there is not something in your mind because we've talked about it a million times Like if we're watching an edit of something that is more like, we went out and did something and now we're editing it Sure, we balance We wanna balance, but we were not trying to achieve that balance just in the name of brand

It's just like, I'm fully ready I'm fully willing to admit that it's just like, I want to be able to watch that video and think I contributed to the comedy in this video, like I got some good lines in there And if I watch a video, I'm like, man, I didn't really get to express myself in the way that I would like to If I could go back and engineer this video, it would be like a 50:50 thing whereas you know what, Link got a bunch of good one liners in there in this video, and now, so for me, I'm saying that there is a, what I think is ultimately a healthy competition It's not like, oh, I want to get more than Link

I don't want Link to say anything funny because that would be like Yeah, I just don't call that competition So what is it if it's not? Because I would think if you could, I don't view that as comp First of all, we agree in what we're after Like we talk about balance a lot, but the way that I think, like I just don't, I don't think I think about it in terms of competition

I think about it in terms of pulling, pulling my weight or contributing What I'm saying is personal though I think ultimately I'm saying is that, it is personally motivated It isn't like I'm trying to meet, it's not like you're trying to meet an external quota of like, we've decided in some times long past that we are 50:50 contributing to as much as possible, but it's like in the moment when you're watching a video and you're like, I'm trying to get, I want to be an equal partner in this, I think there's an element of competition that's based on you're an advocate for yourself in a non-prideful, healthy way In other words, like if I were to go in and edit a video without you being there and you were like, man, I said a bunch of funny things and he's edited those things out when I wasn't there

You would be Would you be personally offended? And would you be offended because we're not meeting some standard or would you be personally offended because, hey, man, I said some funny things and I want the world to know about those things Yeah, I would be offended because, but I wouldn't be like because I wanna beat you, to me that- I'm not talking about beating

Right, but see, that's how I think of competition I think of this example is not competitive It's like, I mean, we're both, if we've had times when we've thought I want to be seen as funnier than the other guy, then I think that's probably not a healthy level of competition My instinct is that, I just don't look at it through a lens of competition, because I don't, it doesn't feel healthy to me No, but what is, but if you're an advocate for yourself and there's a pie with a limited amount of contribution, and I'm the other person who is contributing to it, then what is it if it's, I guess I don't think it's a bad thing

I agree with you that it would be bad if it was just like we, either of us had a secret agenda to belittle the other guy, but for me a lot of times what happens is just this like, like we might do a live show, right, and I'm like, like we go out and I'm like, we've done the show that night, and I'm like, man, I didn't bring a lot tonight Yeah Right, but I'm also I'm thinking about it in, the only other person on stage is you, right And so naturally I'm gonna be like, well, I didn't bring a lot tonight, Link did bring a lot tonight So when I think tomorrow night, I want to bring a lot, not to be better than him, but so that it will even out

And so, but in doing that I am, there is a, I am personally, I'm motivated I know, but you're not trying to beat me So you're thinking the same thing, I think those same things too is like, man, I didn't, the way I think about it as, man, I didn't pull my weight I didn't, I'm glad that Rhett stepped up or, because then it would, if he had a bad night too, then that would have sucked I mean, I think of episodes of GMM that way

It's like, oh man, I just, if I didn't pull my weight, hopefully you pulled more or- But really there's that all it is because what if every single time you didn't pull your weight, I pulled more weight And what if it that was the standard? And what if it was like, man, it's kind of- Well, I- That would bother you, but why would it bother you? Or you're saying, it won't bother you? The times when I feel like I don't perform well and you do perform well, like in a given episode or a given thing, does that bother me? Does it bother you in a single instance, but does it, what if that became the pattern, would that bother you? And what part of you would it bother? It would absolutely bother me, it absolutely does bother me when it happens, but I feel like I direct all of that towards myself I don't look at it through a lens of competition Oh, I direct it towards myself completely, but the person, but the only other person contributing to the mathematical equation by which I judge myself is you I mean, I certainly compare myself to you all the time, and I reached certain conclusions

I think, and I know that there's a healthy when we're both at our best I think, I guessed It's a- I'm trying to get you to What I'm trying to do is I, like, okay, we can use a different word if you don't like the word 'competitive,' but like, okay Well, that's what we're talking about though Let's say, I'm just saying, I call that competition You're right, and that's my point exactly Okay

We both know- Let's say, I come to work We both know how this works to make it the best it can be All right, I think I got you, I think I got you I think I'm about to get you because you can disagree with me Okay

But let's say that we go to- I think you're being competitive now because you're not gonna quit until I agree with you No, I just want you to acknowledge I want you to acknowledge You want to win- No, no, no This argument

No, no I'm trying to get you to- That I'm competitive too To accept something that I think is true about you Okay, hit me with it So let's say- Okay, we're going on Fallon, we both get suits for Fallon

Okay When you think about what you're wearing, right? Yes And you think, okay- Who looks better? Let's say we go on Fallon and like we come off of Fallon, and then we start looking on the internet and what people are saying and like, everyone is talking about how awesome my suit is They're not saying, they might even be saying it like, what happened with Link's suit? but like Rhett's suit is on fire tonight Like, Link, you already wore that suit, that happened

Does that bother you? Yes So in the sense of wanting to have a cool suit, but what I'm saying is, you don't exist for better or for worse, neither of us exist in this world of entertainment as our own entity, we are tied to the other guy We don't do solo projects where I'm not off doing things, you're not When we present ourselves, we present ourselves as a duo, and like we both are like, I'm, it's like when they come and they start fitting, like if we're getting ready to get fitted for like one of these things, and like, they're like, here's all your options, Link, and here's all your options, Rhett And I like look at your options, I'm like, man, he's got a lot better options than me

You know what, he's six feet tall, he's not six foot seven, I get it, it's really hard to find things for a tall guy, but damn, I wish, I wish they would bring me cool suits too I think that's competition I think the net result of that, now it could get really unhealthy if it was just like, I want more people to like me then than like Link That's not at all what I'm after, but I want people to be like, they look good, those suits look good, and that may be a shallow thing, but I don't want it to be like, man, I went out there in this frumpy bad fitting suit, Link looks really sharp, like that, I have a problem with that personally, right I want us both to look good

And so I think that when I'm looking at your rack of suits, there's a competition there The ultimate thing is if you're focused on that, which my premise is, you're just as focused on that as I am, maybe even more when it comes to certain things, right Then the net result will be like, we both wanted this to come out right, and the net result is both of us wanting that in a healthy way, the net result was as good as it was the best possible result You didn't pick a good example because I mean what happens with suits if we're talking, because it's a good example in that, it's the most superficial thing that we do Right, it's incredibly superficial

It's the most, you're right because it's like we have to coordinate whatever we're gonna wear, so that like it doesn't clash And we both know that we both wanna look, we want us together as a duo to look as good as possible But what if I was gonna have a little cool light on my shoulder, and I was like, I got this thing on the suit that it lights up and it like a hologram projects my name over my shoulder You'd be like, well, I want one of those First of all you haven't- If you thought it was a good idea

I feel like you're more competitive when it comes to this than I am This one I think is a bad example, but you have a chip on your shoulder because your shoulder is so tall in the air, you're six foot seven, you have trouble getting clothes that fit you So I'd say, you know what, every single time we do this, the system is you go and you try on, you pick out whatever it is works best for you, and then I will come in and then you say, okay, this is the best that they've got for me It's frustrating because this is all they could find to fit a man as big as me Right

And then I'm like, okay, then I have, then I will work around your choices But you resent that a little bit And I will Just a little bit You keep your arguments floating

No, no, no, I'm just, I feel like- I don't know what your point is I feel like you're trying to say that you don't have any personal pride, and I think, and I'm saying healthy, good, personal pride, and I think you do and there's nothing wrong with it And I think that you- I've said that I care If everybody complimented you on your suit, nobody complimented me on my suit, that would hurt my feelings Especially if you had to overlook a cool-ass suit because I had to wear another suit because I'm tall

Yes You'd be like, man, if I had the other suit on right now, if this dumbass wasn't so tall, I'm just saying that like that- But it's not And I'm not saying that's, I'm just saying I don't have a problem with that like- I'm just saying, I don't, do I think about that in terms of competition, is he better? I mean, when you get into comparison, is comparison competition? I'm just, yeah, that's what I'm saying I'm saying, yes, it is, and I think that in the context of any relationship, it's healthy because if- I think here's the difference I do think that, and again, this is on a spectrum

It is not you're one way, I'm another way, but like you have a tendency, you have more of a tendency to look at something as a competition meaning only one person can win, then can't we all just be equal? Can't we both just be equal? I think that I feel differently about it than you do I think I just, I instinctively look through a different lens But what, I guess what I don't understand is what the lens is? Because if you were saying that I don't, actually you care about that, and again, this is, I do feel judged by that, right, because what I hear you saying is that, you got to understand, you care about that, you wanna look good or you wanna seem funny I'm open to having- But I don't An equally flawed lens, it's just a different one

And what I'm saying is, I think that you want to be, you want to express yourself and be unique and be perceived in a certain way just like most healthy, well-adjusted people do Yes And I think you want that I think you want it just as much as I do Now, but yeah, when we get into like- I agree with that, I agree with that

We're both, like I am no less flawed than you are No, I don't think it's flawed I'm not saying it's a bad thing I think the thing that is frustrating for me trying to- Being competitive is not a flaw, but there's flaws associated with it I feel like there's, what I feel you saying, not hear you saying, but feel you saying is that there is something wrong with admitting that you want some attention

And it would be wrong, so competing for attention, whatever the word might be, right And what I'm saying is that in an entertainment partnership, there are certain partnerships where they kind of came to some agreement like Penn and Teller, right, well- One of them is not gonna talk One of them is not gonna talk Could you be the guy that didn't talk? Hell, no, and neither could I, but that's not who we are And what I'm saying is, yes, it could get, if it was unhealthy, then we wouldn't still be best friends and business partners

Like we have a unprecedented friendship and business relationship, right? Like even more so than your typical other comedic duos out there, you got like Key and Peele, like yeah, they made a show together and stuff, but like how often do they see each other? How often are they working together, right? And probably not much at all right now And I'm not saying that you're not gonna go and do something by yourself or I'm gonna do something that I'm passionate about, whatever, but I think that, I think the argument that I'm trying to make is that there is something healthy about the friendly, healthy competition between the two of us And I'm using the term 'competition,' you wanna say self-comparison, self-measuring, whatever the word you wanna use that ultimately I think is a benefit and is a positive thing, but I feel you talking about it in a way as if you would be ashamed to admit that that was a dynamic And I'm just saying, and maybe I'm really ready to admit it, just because it does for me, I'm competitive in many other areas And so, I just naturally map that onto to this, but I don't see the, but the way I see this different is I'm not trying to win anything

I'm not trying to be better, get more attention I'm just trying to make sure that I get, that we are getting to that 50:50 when we do things, and it doesn't always happen And again, I think I'm defining a competitive spirit as wanting to win, to outdo, it's not- Yeah, and that's not what I'm talking about Then that's not competition I think you're not using a good example

I think we both know that like we are at our best when we enable each other's best, like we don't, we are not at our best independently Right We are at our best corporately And so, if us being at our best is like we both not talking all the time It's like, we couldn't hear anything anyone said, if we both talked all the time or we both listened to all the time, it is just a dumb example, I just don't feel like that's- I think I have a difference of opinion about that because- I define being a competitive person is wanting to win

And then when you bring, if you were to bring that mentality into this, I mean, it's like, you just, again, it's just a, you like to win and you like to achieve things, and that's good, but it's just a lens that you bring to this And we have a healthy, creative relationship, but we look through different lenses And I guess I don't understand what your lens is because what I'm saying is, like if we, so like when we're writing Buddy System, and it's like, okay, we've got this really funny sort of one off role that we've invented for you, my natural instinct is to be like, okay, what's the one-off funny role that I'm gonna play? All right, Link is to do this quirky cave deal, so I'm gonna be the bike or something like that like Yeah To me, I'm just saying, I am being vulnerable here, but I'm readily admitting that there is a competitive element to that because if I was like, you know what because even if you would be better at being this and this, I still would make the decision to advocate for myself to be this and you to be that, not just because it makes sense from a Rhett and Link brand, yeah, that's part of it, but also because, oh, I wanna also have a funny, I want to be a funny guy

I want to play the quirky role And to me, are you saying that that is not true of you? It's true for me, but the equation is different, like I think the first thing I think of is like, I wanna contribute, I want to be, I wanna pull my weight and I want to, I don't know, I guess I don't want to be seen, it's like I don't want to be seen as a loser as like the hanger on Well, that's- Like, but so it's, again, it's the same thing It's a different, it's almost like the negative viewpoint of the same thing It's like, if you're saying I wanna win, then I'm saying, well, I don't wanna lose

Yeah, that's all I and I- Right, so I- And I'm just saying that because I felt- Right Like I was going crazy Not that you were like gas-lighting me, but I felt like I was going crazy because what I hear, like what I hear you saying is, you think those things in the context of what we do, but I don't really think those things, but what I hear you saying now is, I do think those things, I think about them differently maybe through a different lens, but in practice, when I look at something like a script, I immediately look at, whoa, there's my name and there's my lines, there's his name and there's his lines, let's make sure those are even Yeah And I feel like us wanting that is coming from the same place, it's coming from a personal, you're a personal advocate, but I think that that's healthy

I don't think, it can become unhealthy if it was, I want to dominate, I want to see my name more, that's a problem If you write a script, you take that into account You take balance into account, you're not just, you're not trying to make, you're not trying to make just you look good if you write something, I mean, if I edit something, I'm not just trying to make me look good, I'm trying to make us look good And so we differ And often I might actually bias something towards you having a little bit more

You know what I'm saying? Like because if it's a certain kind of thing that I'm writing and I'm spending more time on it, well, I don't wanna be the asshole who like is also, well, I'm in control of this at this stage Yeah And so I'm going to like write more for myself Like I actually, I think I do the opposite, but I'm just saying the element, the fire, the spark of being your own advocate and how that takes place in the context of our friendship and the context of our, is mostly the context of our creative partnership because our whole business is based on people finding us likable and enjoyable and funny, and wanting to sit on and listen to us talk Yeah, I mean, I don't, and I'm just trying to process honestly, and I do think that like, I don't try to make you look like a jerk in these conversations, I think you- Well, you do sometimes, but I know you're not trying to

I know that, I know you feel like that happens Honestly, I just, I feel like I operated not out of a desire to win, but out of a desire not to fail It's just a different motivation I think there's a difference It's a different motivation

And so it doesn't feel like- But I'm just saying, I think that comes from the same place I think it comes from the same place in a person wanting to- Well, I think it come- You got some personal pride I think it Okay, yeah Because there are some people who aren't, what I'm getting at is there a lot of people who are not like that Yeah, there's pride I don't wanna look, like I said, I don't wanna look stupid, I don't wanna look a loser, I don't wanna look like I'm not pulling my weight, I don't want to be seen as a sidekick And also, and this is why I use the term 'competition' because there is an intensity to it, right

In the midst of a performance, in the midst of us going out and doing like, we don't do this a whole lot anymore because we don't go out, but like when we were like shooting The Backup Plan where it's like, all right, we're gonna go into this situation, we're gonna interact with this person or commercial kinks, whatever, we both are like, I'm gonna try to be funny And it's like, whoa, if you ramp up and it's like, man, he's really knocking it out of the park right now, I'm like, I got to get up to that, I gotta get up to that place I gotta get up to that place To me the net result of that is, well, it's twice as funny as it would have been, but there's a lot of people who is like, man, he's really popping off right now, and he's really being funny, who would shrink down And what I'm saying is, and ultimately it may sound, this is a backwards way to get to it, I'm trying to compliment you

And I'm just trying to get you to accept the compliment is that I think that you are an equal advocate for yourself to the degree that I am, but that you have a little bit of a problem with accepting that You don't wanna accept that you're an advocate for yourself to a large degree I'm not trying to diagnose you, I'm just saying that like, my perception of interacting with you is that you want it just as much as I do You want whatever it is we're trying to get as much as I do And that's a good thing, and if you didn't, then we wouldn't be here

And so, but there's a part of me that's like, you don't wanna be perceived as a guy who really wants it I'll let him be the one that seems like he really wants it Well, first of all, I'm not making a play on this podcast to be perceived in a certain way Yeah- I'd never thought, so that's not what's happening that like, that dynamic of what happens or what, I don't know, that's another conversation for what happens on this podcast sometimes where it's like, I feel like we both want the same things, but we don't have the exact same drive It's not the same chemical makeup because we're different people

But you're just as driven as me That's all I am driven, but I don't, you've made it very personal And I think it complicates it because if you go back to like just the simple things like what kind of sports do you like? There's a, I think we can easily agree that you enjoy things that are competitive, like cardboard competitive much more than me Yeah, and I think this gets at the root of a big, this, I think I have an issue And then you funnel that back into

Well, no, I think I have an issue with, there's so many people who are like, I don't like sports because I'm not competitive, but then I'm like, well, look what you do for a living Like I have somebody I know who is a musician and is very committed to their art and wants to be good at it and is incredibly driven, but it's like, I don't really like sports, I don't get it, it seems like I just, I'm not competitive, I'm not into competitive things, I'm like, boy, he sure as hell But you know that I don't judge sports, so just lose that for a second Like I don't look down on anybody who screams at a screen about sports, I don't I guess what I'm saying is that I think more people than, and I'm not, and again, this can come across like I'm trying to, and again, I understand

Yes, I do think there is a dynamic sometimes where we get into a conversation like this and I'm being, what I perceive as being vulnerable, which is like, I'm kind of pulling back the curtain on my mind and it's like, oh, he's kind of, things get a little dark in there sometimes And I perceive in those moments you trying to be like distance yourself from that and be like, well, that's not, I'm not like that I mean, you're like that, but I'm not like that And I guess I'm selfishly trying to say, well, not just to make myself feel better, but to make myself feel sane It's difficult for me to interpret your actions over the course of our lifetime through the lens of you not being competitive in the broadest sense

I know you're not competitive when it comes to sports and even most games, but I'm saying, I think you're competitive when it comes to life And I think that most people, even the most humble among us who wanna do something meaningful and impactful in the world In fact the primary motivation of most people on Earth is to be important, And I think that there's nothing wrong with that, it's basically deeply built into our DNA And I'm just saying, I'm saying, yes, it can get in my way sometimes, but yes, I want to be important And I'm just saying that, I think you also want to be important, but I think

I do wanna be important I think that, I think you have more confidence than me I think you have confidence that you have more to offer than me So, and I think that's a flaw that I have because maybe that's not true, maybe we have equal things to offer, maybe everybody has something to offer and it's not, if you, that's why comparison is a trap, but like, to me, I do think it's two sides to the same coin of, it's like, it's really complicated Because it's, I do find myself with comparison I haven't, it's a negative experience

For you, it might be more of a frustrating experience of, I can look better in this suit It's like, can I look better in this suit? I mean, I'm not as confident as people might think I am I don't know, I just think we're a little bit different in that way As a side note, maybe I do a really bad job of responding to you being vulnerable about something And then, because if you're asking just like, oh yeah, I'm this

If I can't say, I feel exactly the same way you do when you're being vulnerable if that just immediately is judgment, it's like I- Well, it's like- That's a side note of- A couple of episodes ago I said something like- And I remember that I was saying something about us being empathetic and I was basically making the statement like we're both empathetic We're empathetic about different things or whatever, but we're both really empathetic people And if you know what we're talking about in that conversation, just so you know, listener Kiko actually cut out the one statement that I made where I was like, well, I don't know about that, because, yeah, it was, it was at least a confusing thing to say

And it sounded like you were saying, well, I know that you're not as empathetic as me is what it sounded like you were saying You know what, and I'm sorry for saying that for the record because- Okay, I accept your apology I think I knew, I think I thought I knew what you were gonna say, and then what you said about empathy was different, but in my mind, I was already, I am very sensitive I think you're kind of, you're getting at something with me that's like, I'm sensitive to, I don't know, there's something about, if you do, if you are vulnerable about something or if you say something about yourself and then you say, but you're the same way, it's like, well, I don't know if I'm, like I try, I know that I'm very flawed, I know that you're very flawed, and you know the same thing about me, and I do know that there's something about this forum that it's harder for people to see that about you No, I'm not being clear

Not that you're more flawed, but that like that we both got equally good hearts, but they're different Yeah, so I also wasn't trying to point out- So I just have a general, I think I have a knee jerk response to being lumped into like, okay, my flaws are your flaws, like if you say- But I'm not saying it's a flaw, I'm saying, it can be I'm just explaining why I said something that, I'm sorry for that like, if I implied that you weren't ever empathetic, or I remember the time I was like, that's not what I meant to say And then I never went back to it, and it was difficult to bring it up, so I never did, but I thought you were gonna say something else, and all I really heard was, I have this issue, but you have it too And I'm like, well, it's like, when you say, everybody who is in entertainment is a narcissist, and then you say, I, so then it's like, well, I, there's a little bit of narcissism in me, there's a little bit of narcissism in you

And I'm like, well- And you're uncomfortable with that And I get, I have a negative response to that And I haven't fully explored it, but I'm like, it's just one thing for somebody to be vulnerable with themselves, but then if you lump me in, it's like- Well, and I appreciate that, Because I just know that we're both flawed in our own ways, but they're not all the same exact ways And I'm not saying, you're a narcissist and I'm not, I'm just saying that the general lumping in thing gets a knee jerk reaction I appreciate that

And when you said that you're just as empathetic as me, I had a knee jerk reaction, I said something that I regret And I appreciate that, but I guess what I'm saying is, it's also, this isn't, I wouldn't do this with anybody else, right I mean, maybe with my wife, but I guess what I'm saying is, a lot of these things are based on how well I know you So in one sentence- But when it comes- I could hear you saying, you don't know me as well as you think you do, and so- I think, that's not what I'm, what I'm saying is, you're a competitive person Well, you're more competitive than me

And then you see the way that I act and you interpret my motives as being rooted in competition, and I'm like, I don't know if it's that simple Again, if you go back to the- Right And it's an interesting question and I'm really trying to answer it But there's two sides to that And I'm not trying to do it to make you seem- No

To make me seem- Right, I get that, but there's one side of it, which is like, I have a fundamental difference of opinion about what the word 'competition' means, which I'm trying to get beyond that to what I think is the more important route, which I think as a, I sense, like I said, and it's interesting, it's pretty ironic, right, because you're very open and you're very vulnerable in general, but sometimes I think it's like, what I'm looking for is this like, there's some validation that I'm looking for or just an acknowledgement that like, yeah, yeah, I deal with that too That your response to it is, well, not so fast in the interpretation that I get, and then I get worried that the audience gets this, oh, so Link isn't, Link doesn't have that struggle Or it's so different, so as to be a completely different thing, because I guess what I'm getting at is just like, okay, with what we talked about today, if you aren't advocating for yourself, and I'm not saying to exclude advocating for me or exclude advocating for the Rhett and Link brand or whatever it is Yeah, if- Then I have misinterpreted, I don't know where it's coming from, and I'm just saying, I feel like I know you well enough to know that like, yeah, he wants to be important just like I want to be important, but that doesn't make you a bad person because if you didn't want that, like I said, everyone wants that Even people who are, even who struggled from a gore phobia and won't leave the house, right? Like they still want to be important

And it's everybody wants to make some kind of impact They may have a lot of things that are getting in the way of that, but I don't think that's the case with you I think that you make a huge impact So, and I don't think that, I don't think that there's any, like at no time in the history of our friendship or partnership have I thought that we've started getting to a place where it's just like, oh, this is really imbalanced, right? Like I've always thought that like, we do a really good job But that's because we do that for, we differ to each other, and we- But it's more than just differing because we both differ than neither one of us would be- You're taking a stance, then it, you're setting me up to make you look like an asshole and then you're being sensitive to it because you're saying, listen, we're both really competitive, we both really care about looking good, looking just as good as the other person, not beating the other person, but looking just good as the other person, I'm like, we both need to care about both of us together as a unit looking the best we can look

And that means both of us taking a back seat at certain points And I know you agree with that, but you're just asserting that- I'm just talking about the one aspect of that because I agree with all that Again, I- Is just the being the personal advocate for yourself And I, well, I still feel you having some shame around that, that there feels like there's shame around being an advocate for yourself And the only thing I'm saying is that like it could be shameful if it- Yeah, because I'm saying- But I don't think that it is

I think we need to be an advocate for us I completely agree And I know you agree because in practice that's what we do, but I think, but I'm just, don't you have a proclivity to view it more of a, in a more competitive way than I do between the two of us? I feel that, like let me throw out I'm not trying to say that, I'm not trying to get you to admit that you're equally as competitive even in this realm The only thing that I'm trying to get you to admit is that you want to, like you want to pull your weight to the same degree that I want to pull my weight

Yes And in the context of a Rhett and Link, that means pulling the same amount of weight as Rhett, just like in the context for me, it's pulling the same amount of weight as Link is There's a dynamic that's different than just an athlete who is just out there doing his thing, competing against himself or competing against a bunch of other people It's a duo, and there's a dynamic to that, that I think in a lot of ways we've really figured out, right, because most duos don't last But it's not, I don't know, I just find myself not thinking that like, I'm ashamed that I don't, that I'm competitive

I don't feel like it gets us as far as working together, but again, I don't know, maybe that's just a confidence thing That's why I brought that up Like, I think of that, here's an example I don't know if you remember it, well, you have to remember some of this I don't know why this popped into my head

When we were doing those song biscuits, okay, so we would do a podcast with somebody, and in this particular time it was Nice Peter Okay And we did a podcast, and then we sat down and we did a song biscuit where we write a song together and we just record the thing for an hour, try to within an hour, write, and then perform the song based on suggestions from Twitter And so we started writing this song with Nice Peter and like, I mean, I'm immediately aware that like, okay, I'm the guy on the keyboard who is gonna write down whatever that he everybody comes up with because I don't play- And keyboard, you mean laptop, not keyboard, the instrument Yes

In the context of Laptop, I'm the guy on the laptop keyboard because I can't play a keyboard or a guitar Right Okay, so, I'm not as much of a contributor here I gotta find my lane, you got this other guy, Pete is like very talented, very quick on his feet

We're writing a song together, everybody has got their own verse We're writing this thing, it was very difficult- Yeah For me because it's like, it's not just you and me, and like we can work together and- I think this is a good example I think, I remember like all of these comparisons going through my head You used the term 'comparisons

' Yeah, because I knew that I couldn't win, so it's not a competition Okay, I'll use your- That's why I'm not telling- I'll use your terminology, but this is a great example because- It's the point of, yeah, that's the different point of view between how a competitive lens views that situation I guess I'm just saying, I'm using the term 'comparative lens' Because I think you wanted to have, you wanted to have the best verse, you wanted to do the best you could do And you wanted the best verse, and I wanted the best verse, and Pete wanted the best verse

And in my mind what that contributes to is the best song Right Right, but- I specifically remember being self-conscious about the fact that he's so much better of a guitar player than me, right? Yeah And so, and again, is that competitive? I think that's competitive, I think it's like, man, he is, I'm self-conscious because- I think you, but then- He is such a good guitar player So you're gonna step up and you're gonna win, and I'm like, I gotta find my lane because I'm gonna lose

And I think that's the same thing And that's what I'm saying is different Okay, and I just think that, yeah, I gotta find my lane And then I'm like, you know what what I did in that situation is I played rhythm and he played like lead, right, because, yeah, I can't compete with him

I'm not gonna be better at the guitar than him, but what can I do to contribute because I do have a guitar and I want to keep up with him So it wasn't like let's beat Pete, it was more like, I think I'm thinking the same thing What's my lane in this situation? One of them is writing as good of a verse as I can, so that, not so that people will be like Rhett had the best verse because that would be unhealthy, but if people were to be like, man, Pete and Link were really funny and Rhett wasn't, like I would have a problem with that Yeah And I feel like if I didn't have a problem with that, I would be a shitty entertainer

Yeah, and I just felt like, in that instance like, okay, I can't play to my strengths here, and it was like, and I remember there was a point where like, unlike how we would usually do it, that we would be writing the verses very collaboratively I remember there was a point where every, like we sketched out the verses, then everybody went, the two of you went and like, you were working on your own verse because I think Pete was like, I need, I can't remember how it happened Mm-hmm But it was just like, oh, this became a, every man for himself writing their own thing and coming up with how they're gonna do it And I was like, I hate this

This is not how I want this to go And it was just because I felt like But you didn't, but this is the difference between you and someone who I would say is not competitive is that you didn't implode and not do a good verse You were like, damn, I gotta write a good verse The same thing that I think I was thinking

I was thinking, why aren't all three of us writing all three of these verses together? Sure, but that, to me that, yeah, that's a separate concern, but once given- Because a competitive person says, I'm gonna, this is my thing, I'm gonna make it as good as possible, I'll be back, and that's what happened, it was like, and I never had the instinct Hey guys, let me go over here on my own and make my thing as good as it can be because I know you are gonna do that But see my observation of you as a person is that any time you have to do something, you fully commit to it and make it as good as it can be Yeah So I guess what I'm saying is, is that in my mind there are plenty of people in the world who given the opportunity to do something in the context of someone else doing the same thing back away and say, I don't wanna be a part of this, but like you don't

Well, I couldn't do that Yeah, but I'm saying you don't, there's nothing in the final product, there's nothing in your, what you say, all your actions and all your outward emotions communicate to me that you're trying at least as hard as I am And so maybe I'm interpreting that wrong, but to me it's just like, oh, he wants this too to the same degree that I do And that's a good thing, like I, at no point during any of this whole, to our conversation, have I been trying to say, just admit you're bad like me, which again, I feel like that's what I hear you saying, you want me to admit I'm bad like you because you keep using the word 'flaws' and stuff I'm not, actually in this instance I'm very flawed, but in this instance I'm not, I am actually trying to get to a place where, and this is to unpack a whole different layer, like the whole issue of being a personal advocate and having some pride, coming from an evangelical Christian background, that's something that I've had to come to grips with is being okay

My wife is the same way, especially as a woman coming up in the evangelical environment, being an advocate for yourself felt dirty And it felt like you were being sinful and you were being prideful in the bad way And that's a huge part of our psyche and a huge part of our background and sort of our foundational philosophy is that the moment you become an advocate for yourself and you realize, I actually do want to be funny or I do want to seem important That's all bad all the time And I think over the past few years, I'm kind of coming to the realization that, you know what, being an advocate for yourself is actually a healthy thing when it's funneled into the right thing and it doesn't go overboard and it doesn't happen at the expense of other people

And what I hear you saying is that, I wanted to contribute to the whole, and so do I I feel like me focusing on me being the best Rhett I can be makes the best Rhett and Link we can be And I think what I'm looking for is you to be like, yeah, I feel the same way, just so I don't feel crazy I feel like, I do want to be the best I can be, but I think that if we only focus on that, then we will never be the best we can be because we have to also focus on like when being a champion for when it's the other guy's time to shine And I completely agree with that

The only thing I'm saying is that the portion of that equation, which is you being your own personal advocate is something that I feel like I'm saying, yes, that's a part of who I am, and I can say it, and I don't even have to qualify it with the fact that, yes, and it makes it better as a whole to just say that in life and in the context of our partnership, I'm trying to be the best that I can be And, yes, it is partly motivated by wanting to be personally meaningful and important and have an impact The worst thing that can happen to a person is to get to a place where they feel like they have no impact I wanna be successful, I wanna be seen as talented I wanna get compliments on my suit

I want all of these things And I don't think it's healthy to want it at your expense, and I don't think you're saying that Agreed But we have a different makeup, and I think that that confidence is a component of it I think when I played soccer, I hated every minute of it because I never believed that I could score

Yeah I never believed I could score The entire game was trying to not screw up Like, yeah, I get it But I don't think that was your mentality when you played

You're right, you're right I wanna be the guy, I can score I was trying to win, you're right I will win Yeah

And I'll be like, I don't want to lose It's just like, I don't, I don't want to fail I think that's a significant difference And I think- I guess what I'm saying is- To me that defines You're riding in a- if you're a competitive person

You're riding in a slightly different vehicle, right, but the gas, the juice is the same You may be right, you may be taking a different road, but I'm just saying that that juice that fuels it of, you don't wanna fail, I wanna win, I'm just saying, it's coming from the same place By the way, I don't wanna say that, and I don't want to show that, like I don't wanna say, hey man, can you help me write the melody for my verse because I feel like yours is a whole lot better than mine? And Pete's is better than both of ours, but at least ours can be equal It's like, I'm never gonna say that because that's being more of a loser, you know, it's like Yeah, and I'm just saying that I agree and I- So I think you're saying, you think you're as, I'm as competitive as you when like really I'm just, I don't wanna be the lame duck at the game

Well, maybe- Like this game sucks, I don't, I'm not, I don't- You don't want to lose as much as I want to win I guess what I'm saying is that I see a fire in like a very motivated- Yeah Focused person And what I hear when you say that, and also when other people say it is this like, I'm not really passionate You know what I'm saying, like I'm not as passionate as you, but I don't believe that about you or these other people that I'm thinking about

Like no, you might be more passionate than me actually, but you just don't want to admit it for some reason Like you don't want to admit that you want something as readily as I am willing to admit that I want something And I'm just saying that I think you want it just as bad as I do, but you may say, well, I want it in a different way, I don't want to lose And so when I think about us going out and creating something, my preoccupation is, I don't want this to suck and us to be embarrassed, and you're thinking, I want this to be awesome, so people will think we're great And I'm willing to admit that that could be a fundamental difference between the two of us and probably a strength in some way, but I guess what I'm just saying is the want, the desire, like you don't wake up in the middle, in the morning not wanting something

You know what I'm saying, like my experience with you in the world is that you're very motivated It may be a slightly different flavor of motivation, but it's not like, well, in this partnership, one of them is really motivated and the other one is not This is like, no, it has never been the- Yeah The sense Well, I don't wanna be contrary

You just, this is a strange time, right And I do think, so I, I think- I just want you to say, yeah, man I think what you're saying is true, but I also think that I have struggled with motivation the most I've ever struggled in quarantine like- Yeah And I know you have too because we've talked about it Right, because, yeah

So I'm like very in this local moment of like- But people who struggle with motivation are motivated It's just like my pastor used to say, there's this thing that, back when I was a Christian and you would wonder if you were saved I was like, I don't know if I really prayed the sinner's prayer that last time, I've prayed it several times I got saved multiple times and rededicated my life and all the things that you do in that environment And my wife struggled with the same thing, and my pastor told me one time, he was like, listen, people who are worried about their salvation, they're not the ones

If you're worried about whether or not you're saved or not, you're saved You know what I'm saying? So what I'm saying is that So if I'm worried about not being motivated If you're sitting around thinking about not being motivated, well, the person who isn't sitting around thinking about being motivated, they're the ones who aren't motivated You know what I mean? You are motivated

You know what? You frustrated yourself- Yes Because you don't have something to focus on right now, right, because we don't have a routine and we're not coming into the office every day I feel the same way, but that is just evidence of motivation I'm just saying, you're motivated Okay, so all right

All right, I'm competitive, man I'm just as competitive as you Yes, I won It took two hours and 13 minutes No, you don't have to be, you don't have to say you're competitive

That's not the word you want to use Let's just use the term 'motivated' You are just as motivated as me Oh gosh Wait, we have not, neither one of us have moved an itch

No, I think so I think we both have Who? I think we both have I think that- I think we've learned a lot, but I don't know that we've impacted I think we acknowledged the fundamental difference with the way that we see competition

There's a fundamental difference I want to win, you don't wanna lose, and that is a meaningful difference, but what I hope we have established is it's not that like, I'm Mr, I want to be Mr Fantastic, and you're like, I just want Rhett and Link to be the best that they can be

I think we both wanna be Mr Fantastic, but we also want Rhett and Link to be Mr's Fantastic And I think that that motivation is one of the reasons that we have, against all common sense worked as hard as we have worked for as long as we have done it Oh God, I think if we were both, gosh, never mind, I'm not gonna say it because I don't know if it, I don't, I don't know, it's like we're different people, like- Yeah

I know you know that we're different people, but it's like we're more different, I don't know There's other factors, and we're just talking about competitive spirit and like how we view that type of thing, but I think we've stripped away too much of who we are in trying to isolate this thing, and we're maybe drawing too many conclusions That's actually how I feel about it I wonder how people listening to this are gonna process it Well, a lot of people would have stopped by now

It's like, I'm not gonna listen to these guys psychoanalyze each other Well, that's why, when this is over, we'll have an argument about making this a two part Nah, we can't do that I think we can put a thing at the beginning that says, listen, something happened in this episode, and we went from talking about games and then- That's just Ear Biscuits, man Then we don't have to record one for next week

And this was a really good, I want people to listen to the second half of this conversation So that's why we're gonna have an argument about, should this be, and this won't be in it because we'll cut this out, that way they won't know who won because as you know I'm very competitive and- Yeah, exactly See, you wanna advocate for your position just as much as me, and you say that you don't No, I don't want people to not listen to this conversation, so I want it to be front and center and it should be its own podcast I think it's an important conversation, it shouldn't be buried after talking about board games and movies for an hour

It's too important of a conversation That first episode is not gonna be as good as it could be It's always a risk It's as good as last week's episode You know me, I'm not competitive, so I'm totally willing to do what you're asking

I mean, I'm fine with this episode competing with last week's episode It's like, you did a great job on the last episode I sucked, I had nothing that, I had nothing to bring to the table See, these are the things that I think about I'm very competitive

And is that, I don't think that's competition I'm super-comfortable talking about all this, and you're getting there What are you talking about? I'm just joking, man I don't get the joke Okay, this is the second part of a two-part episode that we have to go back

And so that means that this is going to be complicated because I have a rec, but my rec is gonna be inserted at the end of this episode or the end of the previous episode? This episode So you get two recs in a row That's what that's gonna I'm joking Now it just came out of my- I'm joking, I'm joking So you want me to give my rec at the end of this full long episode, which I actually I think

I don't wanna give a rec at all unless it's appropriate Actually I think it is appropriate because- Okay, good And this is a- The last episode, part one of this did not have a rec because it just continued, and we can put an addendum on it Hmm, okay, I was kinda thinking we should give you a rec that you were gonna give, but you can save the rec that you were gonna give And actually I think it influenced the nature of this conversation is a book that I'm in the middle of reading, which is like almost a hundred years old and has a sort of a title that's a turnoff

And you've heard of it before, it's Dale Carnegie's, "How To Win Friends and Influence People" And this is a classic I would never read that book based on the title Well, it's been recommended by so many people that I respect, and I was like, if one more person How to buy friends and manipulate people? No, "How to Win Friends and Influence People

" And by the way, it was recommended during staff training for Campus Crusade, but apparently you didn't take that recommendation at that point, neither did I Mm-hmm It's an old school book, I recommend just doing the audiobook because of the nature of the language It's the kind of thing you probably get lost in the reading, but it's this just essentially how to be a person And just like things like when you're actually trying to interact in the world and do the things that you want to do and interact with people, there are just some very simple, and again, I'm like a third or a half of the way through this, but just like some things that I'm, it's like everything so far, it's common sense, but you're kinda like, yeah, I don't know why I don't operate in this way more, like if you can pray somebody, it's always gonna be better than criticizing somebody

Just simple things like that that were very helpful in thinking about just being a boss, being a manager of people, being a friend and just being a person who moves about the world So, again, I can't speak for the second half of the book, it may get really un-PC or something, probably, I mean it's a hundred years old, they probably updated it since then I don't think, I have no reason to believe that it would be, I'm just- Second-half of the book is racist It may get really racist in the second-half No, I don't think it is because lots of people still recommend it

"How to Win Friends and Influence People," just read it now It's like a seven and a half hour audiobook, just listen to it You can listen to it at 15 speed probably I'm doing like 1

2 speed, 125 I think That's just about as fast as I like to get Yeah, I can do like 13

But the reason I'm That was a joke The reason that I am saying it relates is because he talks about the fundamental drive of most, of all people is the desire to be important

And he's like, it's like, remember people's names and say them to them Be genuinely interested in people because you being, and again, this can seem like manipulation, but when you're a person who likes smiles at people, which I don't smile a lot, it's like, I should be smiling more I should be saying people's names to them Yes, you can use some of these things to manipulate people and get what you want, but he's very clear that this is not about that This is about being a good human to other humans

And being a good human means being interested in genuinely curious about people, but that whole thing about everybody wants to be important, it's just like, it just hit me hard I was just like, yeah, this, you can pretty much look at everybody's life, and everybody's actions from people who are doing good in the world to people who are doing bad in the world And it feels like a common denominator is people want to be important And you can take that and you can, it can become a bad thing, but I do think that it's just intrinsic to everybody So to deny it, I'm not saying you're denying it

I'm not denying it I'm not saying you're denying it I'm not denying it, I want to be important I felt, I felt that you were denying it, and what I felt and I was wrong, so I'll admit this, is I felt like you were saying, well, you want it to be important, but I just want to be, and I want us to be great And so, yeah, I know that's not what you're saying, that's what I heard, that's what I felt, and I didn't want people, I was worried, yeah, because I wanna be important

I don't wanna seem like an asshole So I didn't want people to interpret that, but that's why it works out as a good rec because it kinda is based on that And when you accept that about people, you start realizing that like, oh, every time you're dealing with somebody, understanding that they want to be important, and they actually find what they're doing You can use, it sounds like you could use that knowledge in service of them and not just yourself Yeah

Yeah, if you're looking to motivate somebody, it's not you telling them what you want from them, but it's finding out what they want and figuring out if there's a way to funnel what they want into what the group wants, and if what you want as a company or what you want in a relationship, not to manipulate, but just to make things better for everybody "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, published first in 1936 Second half is a racist, maybe No, probably not We've not read that

Probably not, probably not Probably not Yeah Hopefully not Yeah

Wow, okay Use #EarBiscuits, let us know what you think, and it's not about- Let me know where I went wrong It's not about taking sides, it's about continuing the conversation So #EarBiscuits, let's keep this conversation going, but not in a comparison, taking sides kind of way, but like in a, hey, let's all understand ourselves and humanity and psychology a little bit more We'll talk at you next week

We're still good We're still good We're still good We're great We're good, we're great

I mean, it does feel a little weird, but we're still good And I'm glad we did it Talk at you next week All right To watch more Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist on the right

To watch the previous episode of Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist to the left And don't forget to click on the circular icon to subscribe If you prefer to listen to this podcast, it's available on all your favorite podcast platforms Thanks for being your mythical best

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