Psychologist, TV host and author Dr. Phil McGraw sits down with Oprah to share personal stories from his childhood that he's never before spoken about publicly. He talks about growing up with an alcoholic father and the spiritual lessons he learned from that experience, recounting a vivid, life-changing dream he had about his father after he passed away. Dr. Phil also looks back on his 16 years in television as host of "Dr. Phil" and shares the core lessons he's learned from his guests about accountability, responsibility and forgiveness. Dr. Phil tells Oprah what he loves about doing the show every day and explains why his wife, Robin, has never missed sitting in the audience for one of his shows. Plus, Oprah shares one of her favorite Dr. Phil aha! moments.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now,. Sixteen season, this is it. This is a sixteen. Can you believe it? No, I can't I was actually just sitting there trying to kid. Delayed, so that's when I turned de. I remember coming out here birthday party whole, but so you'd already been on the air two years wow I can't like. I don't. I don't even believe it looks like twelve thousand fifteen thousand guess it's just
Google and you know it. What what I'm often reminded about is. I remember because this is a twentieth here of the trial of the ESA Twenty, if you have a child, and I just remember being in that little car drive in the trial and sitting there with you feeling that there was something powerful to be shared in lessons that you are giving me for people who don't know, I was on trial for saying something bad about a burger in eighteen. Ninety eight. And you were the guy who helped to get me to it, and I was feeling that there was something to them for that. the way you were helping me telling it like it is could be helpful to arms. I had no idea that you'd be on the earth, nor did I or that I would ever be on the air of course, and you know you're saying you tell it like. It was. As you know, when you get
and trial because we ve been here more than once together. Yet when you get in trial that train is rolling down. The track you gotta, make decisions and take positions. now right because you don't get any do overs. So It's like you, gotta get this right, the first time and get it done, and so it will mean the pressures on. yeah and I remember this going at it from a philosophical point of view? Would like wise is happening to me. I need to know the reason which I think is what happens to a lot of people when they are in charge crisis situations you want to know. Why is this happening to me and you were saying, doesn't matter because these good avoid hand do your ass on a platter. Never forget don't matter more, those very eloquent. These good old boys gonna handle your ass bladder and we'll figure it out
the trial anyway. Them said, I don't see any peers over. There had been a funny little legs had they may over there at all at all, but you now from the very first shall we ever dead? and your directness, your ability to tell people like it is what I knew that what the country was in need of it that time and now you ve done it for thousands and thousands. Thousands guess. Do you see that there is a core there's, a core fault or failing that people don't get in terms of taking responsibility for their lives. There's gotta be a red that you ve seen all over all
there is an. I tell you what we are, as I think. What I see is where a society that has been marketed, we are marketed to our own lives or marketing. Answer me, I think, about everything with you watch a commercial about fast food right. If you look, they don't Hardly ever show the food. They show everybody happy in the lobby. They so fellowship everybody being included smiles on the they- are selling a dream: they're, not selling food. Theirs when smiles and everybody happy and functional right there. So when the dream we ve been, we ve had everything spun and marketed to us and then when people go home- compare their reality to the market, a dream, then they wind disappointed and their stuck. There saying why
We feel that way when we go there, why don't we feel it when we come home and so they feel disappointed and their stuck, and so I think people, it's not what happens in your life. It upsets you it's if your expectations of that's supposed to happen, get violated. If you go into a marriage and- and you think o my wife's gonna meet me at them door everyday naked with a martini and she doesn't Do you think? Oh my gosh, I don't have a good marriage, but if you go into it thinking, you know what we're going to share time: space money, division of labor and going to be some ups and downs and then you get into it and you're sharing time space labor and are swept. Sometimes you say: okay, that's what I expected.
the other person would think that's terrible, because it's not what they expect of the expected when you're violations or when you're expectations or violate that's when you have a bad reaction, and so is the reason why people get stuck and stay stuck because of their expectations are because mean I've seen you know so He shows those of my own and yours too, where people just don't know the how they dont know how to get themselves link does more to it than the halo, because it seems to me that people get in a comfort zone and taking a risk. There are two kinds of risk that people afraid to take one is they might fail and number one fear of all people is rejection, rejection, which is failing, which does if it's the same, are because the site-
open a bicycle shop, and so you open it. European origin hang up your side and nobody comes less. Rejection leave rejected what you offer to the world's Lorraine fail. So.
They're afraid the girl comfort zone they fail, but you know what the real scary thing in so they get. Another comfort zone is if they succeed, because what happens now, you are expected to keep that if all of a sudden you do better and you you achieve more and you do more because when you and your comfort zone, let's say you make thirty thousand algae year. Where do you live? You live in neighborhoods where people live that make the two thousand a year. You drive cars that people that make the two thousand a year. You go to playwrights vacations, and now you make seventy five thousand a year. You gotta have new french new cars, new neighbourhood, and you are expected to keep it up. You ve shown you can do it now, the pressures on. Can you continue to do what scares people the most is not failing but succeeding because now derricks they expect more?
and that's pressure and people don't know how to respond to the pressure. Is that what they dont know? How is like? I can. I feel, much safer if I dont put pressure on myself, yes, and so is not about how it's about how not, if I Will they get stuck in a comfort zone and then they turn into weeks. We started a month must turn into year. Then they looked back and they go my god. It's now been two decades of me doing what I dont want. getting what I dont want, and I never plan for that to happen As I always used to say in house at work employer house at working, why, like that, but you say that the road to change actually starts with taking ownership of the role that each person plays in their own lives. So how have you been able to over the years in all in it so interesting? How watch this shows an after, while all the problems there is a thread there's a common denominator.
goes through. I think every problem is there not do absolutely, and in one of those is accountability, Emmy ICE. You see people not being accountable for their own stuff and kill You realize there's only one person in this life that you control others, you can inspire others, you can coach. Can coax, but the only one you control is you. I look at it this way. It's like I'm alive coach and I got one client me yeah, and until I hold my feet to the fire and say, if I doubt if I don't have the quality of emotional connection in my marriage, the only person I control was me. I gotta look at me for that. If I dont have connection to God that I want to have this gods problem, that's my problem until that them I'm not. It's like me waiting for you to give me my car keys and you don't have any
We can sit here all day. You don't have em, you can't give them to me. I've got it I get into. I get him from me up I just might as well sit on Iraq and stared son, because, everybody but me so that's what where most people go off or go wrong? I think, is that the minute Something goes astray in their lives. They immediately point. The blame, instead of looking inside themselves, are looking for the accountability within this house. Really. Your third grade teacher. said the very point, your fingers, somebody three point baggage. You yeah. I mean Third right I mean it's, the Good NEWS, bad news. The goods this is the only person who controls. The bad news is the only person who controls you. It all comes down to you and the weakest. If we are ever,
in our lives, assume we put on the victim had, and it doesn't mean that people don't get mugged, raped, run over by car are they victims? And that moment, of course they are. The question becomes ok what you gonna do about it. Yes, I obey their saw mean. Are there so many shows that you ve done, but one of being moments. Ah ha, that's for me on the upper show early on is a woman. Who had been betrayed by her husband and she said you do not trust anymore and you asked her. But can you trust yourself and I think that's where a lot of people are. The failing them said they don't trust themselves for other people, say you're gonna do business with this guy he's crookedest dogs, I'm way this guy is so screws socks on in the it, but I trust me,
to know their and deal with it. I'm gonna verify everything they say. I'm gonna check, I'm gonna do that because I too Made a handle that only to trust him. I need to trust me and once I do the more I trust me the more I can trust other people. So how did you get to be this guide? You actually gotten better I didn't think you can get back to you, I would have to say, is the bill, ends on fire, the mountains. I thought about you and mudslides. Coming down the mountain Coming down the billions on fire and the thousands flooding I'm gonna. Look for you to leave me out. look I'm going to follow that guy, and how did you get to be obviously, after doing sixteen seasons and talking to everybody from every, possible range of dysfunction, human behavior, you and you get pretty good.
It needed better added, but why this is like a calling or a gift, or something that you think of yours, I'll, tell you something I ve never seen before. Really this is, this is something I never said before. You know my dad and I did not get along all the time, but most the time we didn't get along because he was a violent alcoholic and he was violent in home. I mean I can remember after my little sisters, wedding had to get him out of their catches. drunk at getting home and Missus Mary down to get away from going good. They ever here often.
We ve got home and within the first five minutes he tore the Vienna Hood off above the stove. He kicked off the back windows out of the house, leaning through the back windows. Trying to get a hold of me, as I was getting my mother out of there was that kind of violent Raging out drawn about, but only when he was drunk only when it is drunk this year, which was most sensitive, ok, ok, but and I must say in the last few years of his life, he sobered up
enrolled in the Dallas theological Seminary got his master's degree in theology and really turned his life around. I give him credit for that, and so I had those few good years with him, but I think I've never said before is he knew he was dying. His heart was failing, it was not repairable and he had gone to the doctor for a follow up visit. He came home and I went by and I said so. the Italian he said well put it this way, don't buy me in a green bananas, and that is why I say I'm not going around on how much the girl here and remember that day. He told me- and this was For I knew you it was before I been on the shelves before I done nature. He said,
I don't know how you gonna hear this, but he said the day is going to come. When you are going to have an opportunity to speak to a lot of people,. You gonna have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people in there are times in people's lives when they come to the precipice were all things wrong can be made right where they have up communities to really make changes in their lives. But people have a difficult time
recognizing those moments, and you will point those moments out. I know that and he died within twenty four hours wow and for him to. Sure that was. We was really unusual because we didn't have that kind of regulation. but he had a sense of urgency after that he felt like there were things he needed to get said before he left, and that was one of the things he said to me. Like a prophecy over you're, like a time, you didn't know what that men are. No, I didn't know with you, because I have always been a kind of a leader who has been the captain of the sports team or whatever, but you saw that something given whose very specifically said that people have,
opportunities in their lives to make decisions that matter and they miss those opportunities and you're gonna point them out. You're gonna see them point them out and I didn't know what he was talking about. How soon after that we meet because we met ninety eight, this he he passed and ninety two, I believe, was so it was a while, but I never forget what he said. And it really resolute and didn't you not too long ago, maybe what eight nine years ago have a dream about him where he came to you any in you were dreaming right. I dont know again. I have talked about this very much because I don't I'm not of psyche guy. You know.
Now I know you're not an, but I was in Houston and I've been them working with chip on something and kept the lawyer chip, Babcock lawyer extraordinary. And I had what I assume was a dream because it was, but it was not Another dream like it is clear, as you I sit right here and it was with my dad you're sleeping. I was sleeping during the night and my dad had broken his leg badly during a drunken scenario and he had to have a fusion is ankle, and so he limped he didn't limp and in the great dream it was like everything was fixed
no problems, no health policy and we spent an afternoon together in Houston, walking around and talking, and I had followed my own advice about. Don't let the sunset before you tell the people, you love the things you need to say good or bad. To get it off your chest. Tell me what you love them say it do it, and I really felt like I had done that, but when that the reality of the death hedge. You realize! Well, we're like two things: let us know they'll overseer yet another I didn't diggers leaves I needed to, and I was I woke up. I changed man from that dream because we share the lot we laughed it was now it's not what those profound things where you talk about the origin of the universe.
We talked about things in our lives. We apologize to each other for things we said, or done we laughed about the cowboys. We talked about things that fathers and sons do and it seemed like it lasted for hours. but it could have been more than was so what you had in the dream. You were able to find the intimacy and connection in a way that you hadn't when he was. five and when I woke up, I no longer had unfinished emotional business with my father. And I had a lot before I went to bed at night. Even on my mind, interesting, but it just it was the most single powerful experience like that
and I don't know what what do you think it was? I think was your father coming to help you make peace with whatever you needed, and I think also I experienced this many times. I could feel that kindnesses race being shown me in areas of my life was a direct was indeed correlation too. How I had helped somebody else, so I dont think that you can be who you are on, that show every day, literally changing people's lives. And do
What your father said, pointing them in the best direction for themselves and helping them to figure out who they are supposed to be in the world without the energy of that coming back to you, with a profound thing, happened during that time that those with whom I say with does it was that now much in the forty two years that I live before he died, and I think I had a pretty successful life in those forty two years gone to school on, graduated number was not a had my phd made a lot of money and had a wife and wonderful, we notice, good citizens having had a lot of good things.
But he had never one time in forty two years ever said he was proud of me ever not in pee wee football. Not when I got a scholarship for football to college. When I got a tennis, scholarship, to college after I could buy the volume or not I graduated number one. Never I wanted to say was proud of me: will you do that night? And that was the completion that there was much there's always said? Sometimes you have to give yourself what you wish. from someone else, and I have always done that. He didn't tell me, but I look in america- I'm proud of you. Well, you know that
is one of the big lessons. I learn from you that I pass on to my girls all the time, my girls from South Africa, that you know who have come from a lot of them, challenged disenfranchised background where you didn't get the love you needed, and so for people who didn't get the love they need. No matter where it is, you grew up. You spend the rest of your life. Trying to fill that thing. Do you not feel you do yeah? That's why I tried to teach people who can get that from someone else to learn to give it to themselves, to learn to say, as your parents can only give me what the hell did. They don't have it if they're so broken that they don't have to give their emotionally bankrupt, because the generational legacy of pain being passed down instead of love and nurturing. They were never filled up and you give it to you write em, I tried to teach people learn to give that to yourself which, did I learned to realise how Europe
but father you're, you're, good husband, you're, good. This in your ear, you're a good person and that's a substitute- it's not a perfect substitute, but it's its objective, but it did mean something that when I heard him say wasn't oh by the way, They told me. I am proud of these things in it my deficiency that I was unable to tell you that, and I tell you that now. Would you say you forgave him that night again reached a point of forgiveness and how important it is for governess in the healing of the human condition,
I think it's at the core and I think it's one of the most misunderstood concepts in two ways dismiss understood, because people think it's this wave watches over you and it's not it's a choice. You choose. To forgive? And secondly, it doesn't mean that you forget and it doesn't mean that you say what they did was ok. It just means that you choose to forgive them for what they did to you, real or perceived and after People in my life, I have no idea they transgressed against me, because I just did not want to spend life energy
With bitterness and hatred towards them because it changes who I am as a husband and father and a friend and a person you it's like the smell of a skunk. It's so pervasive. It goes into every aspect of your life, you think or age. I only this person, I'm only mad at this person. Here, I'm only bitter towards this. For sure. That's not true. That's such a pervasive emotion, it colors everything it's soaked or that, if you don't that up that it colors everything you look at touch feel interact with that's how important it is its pervasive So when you started out everywhere, you tell me the story about like when you first started discount. then people one on one, how first of all it takes such a long time because you're nuts,
was really tell people what the problems are: users, the leaden figured out, yeah and bridges the words marriage counselor the world around us really is a yard you down about ten minutes in its working and standing the one of you know what you're. So what are you getting along remorse for sure you owe me I'd sooner? They look like talking for six months until you jerk. I just tell you now here, jerk, no wonder she camp and all my colleagues would say started there. You'll never have a practice. That's not true There were six months, not six hours as this is not true and it wasn't I mean I'm more people say like his egg is sticking to see whether we can tell you the truth. I will get it done. So what are you love about? What you're doing every day now? Well,
the eleven, because you just extended to twenty tiny adieu, I do love it. I love it because it's it's an opportunity to a pack, so many people I feel, like I talk about things that matter to people who care my. I know some shows here. In Hollywood, they pull up at a curve, The whole woodbine burst and say wanted to see a tv show. Yeah bring people put him in the audience. Thus, my audience I mean my audience labour six months, eight months in advance. They want to be there and I think I'm too, about things that matter to the people than watch him and you'll, think about it.
I remember when we were lodged in the show people said: do you think it's gonna matter that offers not gonna, be there anymore, we're gonna we're going to eliminate the most clearly on voice in the history of television. I think he's gonna marry, yet he I think, that's gonna matter. I think, he's gonna matter a lot and I why feeling is gonna work as well. You delete common, sensible, useful information to people's homes. Everyday for free information is relevant to their marriage or family, their children themselves that other work. Because I don't do very well and because you never gonna run out of people the problems You're never gonna run out of people. You know Oprah obscene problems now that didn't even exist. When I started the first text, hadn't been since there was no face,
but this was right. There was also a boy there was no sexting. There was no these kids weren't meeting predators and chat rooms Stuff even existed when I started to write. how many people, how many marriages of fallen apart over text oh my god! Yes, yes, so the challenges. new and there ever changing. The solution to the same: the route solutions, the route solutions, the core values that are The centre of the solutions are the same because it comes down to human decency. Integrity
All of those things that are the same when we were a low tech society and the 40s and 50s versus a high tech society. Now there is a very different element to relationship so now that we didn't have it in and particularly with millennials, because back then they the progression through steps of a relationship. You'd me you date for low. While then you have it first kiss, then you try to get the first. Second, I really was trying to get to know a person in the two of you got to know them. You dated him in her when they had the flu, you want to help. You saw a lot of things ups and downs, now everything is hyper fast. Yours, The dating you're, your me people on the internet? You don't really know them and our kids.
Seeing things now I mean even network television is so sexually provocative. When we were growing up, I mean met Dylan still hasn't kiss kidding, you look it get banned. I can very timely, more easily really yeah they they slip in snow suits us. What we saw look at what gives you should make its on before that animal maturation only ready. emotionally to handle those challenges were thrown all that animal that was thrown on us back. Then we had more time whereas they're gonna led us to feel really honestly. Do you think that's it? leads us to houses built on Their relationship lies because you don't have a clue. the relationship is built on solid, underline friendship and, if
I have time to build that friendship come on. How can you know what the other person really likes and what they need? And what their vulnerabilities are in and how you can really support them? If you don't really know them, you're robbing I've been together. Forty five years, the merry forty one been together. Forty five, We know a lot about each other again. And we did before we got married. We been together for five years and now that's not the norm. I mean I don't think. but she still is sat in the audience of every single doktor Fisher. She's, never missed one when She'S- I did I ever lads gonna last year, alliance, gonna she's, their every single taping asker us a deal. George George, you good title And she said I never know what you're gonna say next, she said
It is not the time to repeat yourself on it. You know what they're gonna say. So I never know what you're gonna say and she said I just I never know what you're gonna say and I d sit there just shuddered, oh god, what action has confidence in its gonna? Be the right thing. Our conversation will continue in the next episode. You can listen by downloading part to I'm over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the pod cast. You can follow super soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet go to apple podcast and subscribe rate and review. This part gas join me next week for another supersede conversation. Thank you for listening.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-09.