Impulse Control: We’re Not In 7th Grade

by Reid on September 25, 2015

Cheerful mature couple embracing by the beachFeeling safe with yourself and others is a challenge when you think you can’t control yourself… or that others may not be able to control themselves. The good news?! We’re not in 7th grade anymore.

Join Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from as they share their perspectives.

Cathy: Hey everyone. You may not realize this but we’re not in 7th grade anymore and it is okay to feel attraction to someone and we probably won’t explode.

Reid: You probably won’t hit somebody with your lunchbox because you like them and in 7th grade when we had no impulse control for the most part…

Cathy: And all these hormones surging through our bodies…

Reid: And just felt weird and dorky to begin with.

Cathy: I did too.

Reid: It comes out in weird ways hence duck my lunchbox is now coming for your shoulder.

Cathy: Well it’s true. Our parents kind of taught us that you can’t be left alone with a member of the opposite sex when I was growing up, where I was brought up.

Reid: No girls in the bedroom boys.

Cathy: Yeah. You can’t control yourselves. You kids needs to be controlled. I love that you share hey, nobody actually told us you’re grown up now, you can probably handle it, go have fun.

Reid: You can probably control yourself.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Yeah and that for those of you who are geeks about brain stuff, it really does that as kids and as teenagers and up until about we’re 23 or 24, 25, we don’t have our brains fully formed. Our prefrontal cortexes are not fully formed and that’s where our impulse control basically resides. So that’s why kids and teenagers are a lot more impulsive and teenagers are now in some sort of hormonal bath where now you’re like girls, boys, ha… So of course no one can control themselves. Now that you’re an adult, for the most part not everybody but for the most part we have impulse control now. But culture doesn’t tell us hey, when you get to be 25, you’ll be able to control yourselves and so will most other people so you don’t have to be so afraid and things don’t have to be so rigid.

Cathy: Yes and changing those beliefs can kind of open up a lot of doorways. So this is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: And this is Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: Are you picking on me?

Reid: Yes.

Cathy: Oh, good. So when you start —

Reid: Lunchbox, to the shoulder.

Cathy: [Laughs] I need to tell your mother. [Laughs] When you start realizing that you actually can have some control you actually get to have control.

Reid: You can trust people more when you start thinking hmm, I bet you for the most part, most of these adults can control themselves. That doesn’t mean they’re not clumsy.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Or just horrible at it because some people just haven’t been given the space to practice it.

Cathy: Uh-hum. But if you…Think of the analogy if you have ever been in the car with someone who was a horrible driver, really nervous driver and they’re constantly overcorrecting and like scared that the car is going to go off the road, it’s kind of a terrifying ride.

Reid: Yeah. I don’t like those rides.

Cathy: No. But the same driver if they just relaxed a little bit and realize they actually can — the brakes work, the steering wheel is working okay, other drivers are actually trying to stay in their lane.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: They can relax and it’s a much safer drive. So if you’re constantly afraid that you’re going to just kind of go off the deep end, you don’t have as much control as when you relax.

Reid: And when you don’t have that kind of control, it’s really hard to find your words to give other people instruction and draw lines for them to know where your boundaries are.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: So a lot of times because we’re so afraid that when we can’t control ourselves that anybody else can’t control themselves, we get so tight that we can’t actually communicate well.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: And leave people feeling clear about what we need. A lot of people out there not everybody but the majority of people really want to do a good job.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: And have you think nicely of them. Now I lived in New York so there are a few a-holes out there running around who just don’t give a flying F.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: And I almost swore there.

Cathy: I’m glad you controlled yourself.

Reid: But those people for the most part are in the minority. If you think about how many people have hurt you, really severely hurt you in your lifetime versus how many people treated you well.

Cathy: Uh-hum.

Reid: A peer of ours Brendon Burchard talks about this, there’s like thousands of people that things kind of went okay.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Versus that four or seven or nine or 13 people. So odds are in your favor.

Cathy: That kicked you in the shin or did something horrible.

Reid: And now that you’re an adult and you can control yourself and most other people can control themselves too, take a breath and realize that you might be able to relax.

Cathy: Yeah. It makes me a lot more comfortable too. I used to be very afraid when someone expressed attraction to me because I was still in that’s 7th grade mode where the boy would hit me with a lunchbox or like cling on. Now as an adult, I can say that’s really sweet, thank you. Even if I’m not interested, I can just take that as a compliment and relax. I don’t have to panic and go, oh my god, he’s going to follow me around grade school for the rest of the year.

Reid: Your mileage may vary.

Cathy: Go ahead.

Reid: You go.

Cathy: I was going to say leave comments below.

Reid: Leave comments below, check out our websites.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: We’ll have those in the links and let us know what else you want us to talk about.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Bye.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: