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Home » Why We Need Pain to Feel Happiness: Brock Bastian (Transcript)

Why We Need Pain to Feel Happiness: Brock Bastian (Transcript)

Brock Bastian at TEDxStKilda

Full text of Brock Bastian’s talk:  Why we need pain to feel happiness at TEDxStKilda conference.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Brock Bastian – Social psychologist

So today I’d like to talk to you about pain. Not just physical pain, but also emotional pain.

As a social psychologist, I’m interested in how we think about pain, and the thing is I think that we’ve been sold a lie.

Take a look at this slogan here from Panadol, one of the biggest painkillers on the market in Australia today: “When pain is gone, life takes its place.”

Let me tell you a story about Panadol.

About six years ago, my wife and I had children. Now I say my wife and I… but what I actually mean is my wife had children and I watched. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but women have this incredible ability to forget the details of the birth process.

This is probably for adaptive reasons, because if you remember what I remember, you would never go back and do it again.

What I remember is thinking to myself, there is a design flaw here. This is simply not going to happen. My wife is going to turn around to me at any moment and say, “Nope, this is not happening. Let’s just go home”.

Well, it did happen. In fact, she gave birth to twins and she did it completely naturally, not even a Panadol passed her lips.

I, on the other hand, did have a Panadol because I developed a stress related headache.

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