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Ep. 90 – Buffering

When you overindulge in alcohol, eating, shopping or anything to avoid a negative emotion, it’s called buffering. Listen to this episode as Doreen and Jeff discuss buffering and working past negatives emotions, especially as you heal from divorce. This way you can enjoy and live an authentic life.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? Today is gonna be episode number 90. We’re gonna talk about buffering. Buffering is when you do something that gives you like a quick dopamine hit to avoid a feeling that you don’t like. So if you are ready, let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

Doreen: Hey everyone. How are you? And how are you, Jeff?

Jeff: I’m doing fantastic. How are you doing, Doreen?

Doreen: I feel like I’m singing.

Jeff: You are!

Doreen: Shouldn’t be doing that, right? Well, it sounds nice. So let’s see what’s going on. Oh my goodness. We have so many amazing things coming up for life after divorce coaching, so get ready. We are creating a program that’s gonna launch next year.

We have been creating YouTube videos that we’re gonna be using on different platforms. We’ve got our social media all set up and yeah, we just have a lot of really fun things going on. We can’t wait.

Right, Jeff?

Jeff: I’m, I’m super excited.

Doreen: To get our coaching out to the world on a bigger level and really help people as they transition from married to then divorced to single life.

I just wanna say one thing. You know when something like this happens to you, like divorce, it can be seen as an awakening. An awakening to really look at your life and to decide now, how you’re going to live in the future and what’s important to you. So that’s kind of a little insight on what our program’s about.

Sometimes it takes an event like this, sometimes it can be an illness or it can be a death of someone close to you to really get you to stop and look at your life. And so please remember that you know, as you are getting past the divorce, this is an opportunity for you.

Jeff: Yeah. That’s why we call it a rebirth or the next chapter of your life. And it’s all up to you what you make of it.

Doreen: Yeah. So, alright. Today we’re gonna talk about buffering. I love talking about this subject. It’s I think everybody does it. They do it on different levels and they do it with different things.

Jeff: So I’m excited about the topic as well. I don’t know why I think it’s because it is so popular.

Doreen: Yeah, and I mean, it’s so easy nowadays to buffer. So let’s explain what buffering is.

Jeff: Okay. Buffering is when you have a feeling that you don’t like. And let’s say it’s anxiety or you’re sad or you’re mad at somebody and you do an activity to cover it up to hide those feelings.

For an example, it could be overeating, gambling, it could be shopping, it could be netflixing.

Doreen: Yeah. One of the most popular ones we hear is over drinking, especially during divorce, you know, because you’re just not feeling in a great place. So whenever you’re going through the emotional stages of divorce, which we talked about, what episode was that, Jeff?

Jeff: That was episode number 88.

Doreen: So, if you wanna go back and listen to that but basically we’re talking about the feelings that come with divorce that are common, like fear, anger, sadness, regret, which one am I missing?

Jeff: Denial.

Doreen: Denial, fear, anger, regret, denial. We have one more.

Jeff: And acceptance.

Doreen: And acceptance.

Oh, that’s where we’re trying to get everybody. And you’re gonna go through these emotional stages in different level, in different times at different levels. So what happens is when you’re feeling this, your natural state, Is to try to avoid negative feelings. That’s what we do as humans. It is natural to do that. It is what we, how we’re built. Right?

Jeff: It’s the primitive brain is trained to run away from, you know, problems and seek pleasure.

Doreen: Correct. And nowadays we can get so much pleasure in a quick sort of way all around us, right?

Jeff: Yeah. It’s very, very common, and we’re also almost we feel a sense of entitlement to this pleasure.

Because it comes at us in forms of different marketing, you know, it could be, you know, just, it’s, we’re inundated with how to get pleasure quickly.

Doreen: Right. In other words, you’re gonna see it if you, you know, any time you see an advertisement, most of the time there’s definitely, you know, what they’re trying to do is show you that when you drink this product, eat this food, wear these clothes,

Jeff: Buy this, whatever.

Doreen: Buy this car, whatever it is that you’re going to have, like this amazing, happy life and be filled with all this pleasure.

And the reality is, right for most of us that when you do these things like overeat or eat or you know, like consumes sugar or have a glass of cabernet, or you buy a new outfit or get into a new car, you feel really good. Like it brings you this dopamine head like, oh, this feels good. Right? The problem with this is what?

Jeff: Well, what happens is the short term pleasure. It is followed up by credit card bills. Maybe if you’re overeating the, you’re not feeling well, you’re a little bit guilty about what you ate the other night, and now you have this negative feeling to compound the negative feeling that you were trying to hide.

Doreen: Yeah. And so you’re not getting to the other side of the negative feeling.

So let’s say you’re feeling anger towards your ex or the situation about your divorce and when you get angry. You are usually going to, you know, go onto the internet or Amazon or whatever your shop of choice is and buy something. Or maybe you choose, like I said, to go into the fridge and need something.

You’re just upset and you’re trying to get rid of it, and so you do this, but now you’re dealing with the aftermath of that. You’re dealing with the feeling guilty and you’re feeling not feeling well physically. You’re gaining weight.

Jeff: Well, you know what happens after that?

Doreen: What?

Jeff: You feel guilty so you overeat again.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Or you overdrink again, or you shop some more. So it’s a vicious cycle.

Doreen: It’s a vicious cycle. And these are what we call false pleasures because they have a very short lifespan. And that’s what you’re suggesting, Jeff, is that once you, once that pleasure wears off, you’re looking for more.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: And I’m gonna talk about this or we’re gonna talk about this in the future, but it, you know, delayed pleasure.

Things like going to school to get a degree, you’re not gonna feel the pleasure of that, most likely. At the same level that you would eating a bowl of ice cream, right? In other words, obviously you’re not, because it’s hard work and you’re going to have to put the time in. Or if you’re trying, if you’re going to the gym and you’re trying to lose weight, right?

It’s not fun necessarily. I mean, yes, you’re gonna enjoy certain parts of it, but over all Right? It would be much. Easier to find pleasure from a physical standpoint and from an emotional standpoint. We’ll talk a little bit about that the dopamine, if you just went and ate something pleasurable. But the long-term pleasure, the delayed pleasure is what is what makes a difference in your life and makes you a different person. It helps you to grow and to become something. I know you wanted to talk about something else, Jeff, and another key point of this.

Jeff: Well, it’s when you buffer and you attempt to hide the negative emotions that you’re having. Are they really gone?

Doreen: No,

Jeff: No. They’re just masked. They’re hidden. So what happens is when you, it’s an artificial temporary hit of dopamine. So what happens when you come out of it? You have two negative things that you have to deal with now.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: So you’re, you’re doubling up on your negativity by trying to cover up your negativity.

Doreen: And if you do enough buffering on an extended level, on an extreme level over a period of time, it can cause other problems, you know, especially when you’re talking about pleasure, such as, over drinking, using drugs on some level. Even people, you know. And it’s not just these things that seem so obvious, like those two things, like overeating and over drinking, but it can be porn, it can be

Jeff: Netflix.

Doreen: It can be. Oh, that’s right. Let’s not say Netflix cuz we love all the stations.

Jeff: Social media.

Doreen: Social media. Right. It can be gambling, you know, these types of things. So pleasure comes in many different forms and depending on what your pleasure item is, it can cause other long-term problems physically, emotionally, with your family, with your financials, with your body.

Jeff: Typically worse than the original emotion you’re trying to hide.

Doreen: Right. Because remember, we’re doing this because typically, and you have to know like I’m not suggesting that it isn’t okay to eat a piece of cake or to overeat from time to time or maybe have one too many or do shopping, right?

It’s when you’re doing it to escape that negative emotion. That’s the difference.

Jeff: And it’s also an in excess.

Doreen: Well, and it can be an excess, correct. And then you’ve got all kinds of problems going on. So the first thing you wanna do is be aware of it when you’re having a negative emotion through the divorce and post divorce, or any time, because this applies to people who don’t, aren’t in your circumstances, right, haven’t been through a divorce or trying to get onto their next chapter, it’s anybody. And so being aware that you’re doing it is the first thing. First, understanding what buffering means, but then also being aware of it. Am I having this glass of wine because I truly just want it and I enjoy it.

Or am I doing this because my ex just pissed me off and I’m just not dealing well with things or for that reason? Because here’s what you need to know is that if you just let that negative motion live in your body, right, just kind of breathe through it, you gotta get to the other side of it. You cannot heal if you’re buffering.

It’ll take a lot longer. So if you’re having that negative emotion, try to utilize some ways of getting your body through it. Now, I want you to physically think about this, like think about what it feels like in your body, right? You’re  sad, you’re anger. Where does it fall for you in your body?

Let’s say for me, like when I get angry or upset it’s mostly in like my upper chest and I almost feel like it’s a heavy weight on me and that it’s hard to breathe, right? So when I’m feeling that, what I need to know is that it can pass and it typically takes literally just a few minutes to pass. If you permit your body to do that, your mind to calm down and your body to relax.

So that’s where journaling. meditation, going for a walk, talking to a friend.

Jeff: Even in that moment, deep breaths.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: Slow, slow. Deep breaths.

Doreen: Slow deep breaths. Realize, can I get past this anger, hurt, sadness, whatever it is to the other side, or am I gonna immediately buffer to try to get rid of it because like Jeff suggests, you’re not gonna get to the other side of those emotions, those negative emotions from the divorce, unless you let yourself do that. So try that. Make sure that, number one, you understand what it is you’re feeling, where you’re feeling it, and try to just breathe into it.

Whatever works for you. See if you can get over to the other side, because again, it’s gonna come up again. It’s going to come up. And one of the things that we do in our coaching is teaching our clients about, how do we get to the other side? Everyone wants to go from these horrible feelings about the divorce.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: To feeling great again.

Jeff: Again, the primitive brain seeking pleasure. We were, that’s what we do.

Doreen: But you got to give yourself time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will get past this. You will get onto a better life, I promise. But you gotta use some of these tools and just be aware so that you get there sooner than later.

Jeff: I think the important thing that you’re trying to point out is that they have to start living their life in reality being authentic.

Doreen: Authentic, yeah.

Jeff: Authentic with themselves.

Doreen: Right. You have to live an authentic life and that means that sadness and happiness are both real. Without false pleasures and make believe emotions, which is the dopamine hit from these substances and things, right?

Jeff: Yeah. You have to, you have to realize that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be happy and not have to escape those feelings.

Doreen: Well, what do I always tell? Everyone. Life is?

Jeff: 50 50.

Doreen: Right. Life is a balance of 50 50, and it doesn’t, what I mean is, what do we mean?

Jeff: It means that you’re going to be sad, you’re gonna be happy, you’re going to be successful, you’re gonna fail. Everything is ying and yang.

Doreen: Yes. There’s going to be great days. There’s going to be bad days, you know, and I like to tell the kids this, you know, our kids, our adult children.

Jeff: Adult children, yes.

Doreen: I like to tell the kids when they’re, you know, these kids nowadays, it’s. Like, I just feel that they have so much pressure and they’re really dealing with a lot.

So let’s say like one of my daughters will tell me, one of my daughters just got published in a, she’s a journalist major and she just got published in her college newspaper. And she didn’t tell me even that she wrote this. She just showed me, oh look, they selected this and she was really happy about it.

And I said, this is amazing, you know, and I said, love this moment. Like, really cherish the happiness because honey, you know that things in life are good and bad. So, and she’s been one that I’ve had to kind of really work. We’ve had to work.

Jeff: Can you point that out to her more than the others?

Doreen: I do. I do.

And I don’t know, if it’s because at times, you know, we talk more, but she really gets it. Like she has really learned that life is both good and bad. She’s gonna get an A on a test one day and one day she started really hard and just didn’t do well. And I’m like, that’s just life.

Jeff: Right.

Doreen: It seems like the world today.

And I’m not suggesting everyone, we’re all seeking so much pleasure. Like we think that we deserve.

Jeff: Yeah. We’re entitled to it.

Doreen: To be happy a hundred percent of the time. And you know what? That would be beautiful, but that’s not reality. Because without the bad, how could you ever appreciate when things are amazing?

When things are great, you would have absolutely no perspective. That’s part of being human, is that we have to appreciate the bad with the good.

Jeff: You know why that is?

Doreen: Why is that?

Jeff: Because the pleasure, the instant pleasure, the buffering that we do is not sustainable. Okay? It’s not sustainable.

But what happens is when you live the real you and the true, authentic, you know, you, it’s not only sustainable and ongoing. But it’s also, it compounds, So it becomes easier. That’s why, what’s the last, emotion and divorce? Acceptance,

Doreen: Right. When you actually are going through acceptance.

Jeff: Yeah. So, and when you’re going through these negativities and you’re, you’re buffering, this too shall pass. And if you focus on yourself and true life, it’s sustainable.

Doreen: And that’s the thing is that, In order to have a life on purpose and a life that has meaning and a life that you truly enjoy and are proud of, it takes hard work.

It takes the dedication, it takes the, you know, the effort and that is just not always pleasurable, right?

Jeff: Yeah. What we say is it’s simple but not easy.

Doreen: It’s not easy, but you have to decide in your life what you want. Do you wanna live a life that is just, you know, mediocre? Or do you wanna li live a life that for you is what you really want. That is your calling. That is your passion. Because I, as I always say, this is not?

Jeff: It’s not a dress rehearsal. It’s not, we have this life, that’s it. This life, at least on earth, right? So we have this life, and so that is what we want to talk about today is just being aware of this buffering.

Jeff: And you know what?

When you show up with the authentic you, you also seem to be more ready to tackle the world and go for it.

Doreen: Yeah. And when you can accept also that life is, will throw you curve balls like the divorce. Look, whether you wanted the divorce, you mutually agreed that divorce is the best thing for your relationship at that point or you didn’t want the divorce. Right? The reality is that it’s one of those situations that life threw you, that you weren’t anticipating. You got married with the intention of staying married, of being in love, of being your forever soulmate with this person, you know, on whatever level you were married on, and you never anticipated this, but it happened to you.

And so that’s one of those curve balls, just like. You know, and you don’t always have control of it. Somebody, your spouse may have wanted the divorce just like an accident or an illness. We don’t go out driving our car thinking we’re going to get into an accident. We go out, we try to get from point A to point B, and sometimes unfortunately something happens.

And that’s just the negative side. So?

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: What else?

Jeff: Well, you know, I like to finish that with just saying, you know, let the. pleasures get outta your life. And boy, I tell you, it feels really good when you start experiencing the real true pleasures.

Doreen: Yeah. The pleasure of, for example, getting a degree, the pleasure of working really hard in your career and making it up to the la up the ladder, whatever that is for you, opening a business. What else?

Jeff: Watching a beautiful sunset.

Doreen: Yes, please.

Jeff: I mean, there’s a lot of these small pleasures that are just amazing out there that we just don’t seem to pay attention to.

Doreen: All right, everybody. So we hope you enjoyed the episode. We’d love to speak to you more about this. You know, if you want to visit with us for a complimentary.

Jeff: Session.

Doreen: Discovery session.

Jeff: Discovery session. Yeah.

Doreen: And learn more about what we do and how we can hopefully help you to get through the divorce and see some clarity. I don’t see anything wrong. Well, I can’t, right? I’m a coach having help along the way. For those of you who think you can go it alone, which would’ve been me many years ago before I learned about coaching, before I became a coach. You know, do it all. Be the strong girl. You can handle everything. Guess what? You can ask for help and why not? Because having that clarity from someone else can really, open up your, your thoughts, your ideas and your perspective, and help you to figure out what you want your life to look like.

Jeff: Sounds like a plan to me. I love to hear from them.

Doreen:  All right, everybody. Listen, as I always say, have an amazing week. Love yourself. Be kind to others, and remember,

Jeff: Have an amazing day.

Doreen: No, when we do remember, you too can have an amazing life after divorce All right, everybody, have a good one.

Jeff: Bye everybody. Bye-bye.

Doreen: Bye-bye.

Jeff: You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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