Episode #16: How Honesty and Vulnerability Look Like Early Stages in Relationship Quentin Williams and Rochelle Pfeiffer

Written by: Karenna Soto
The Fully Expressed Podcast
The Fully Expressed Podcast
Episode #16: How Honesty and Vulnerability Look Like Early Stages in Relationship Quentin Williams and Rochelle Pfeiffer
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In this episode of The Fully Expressed Podcast, Karenna has an honest panel talk with her two friends, Quentin (Q) Williams, a Men’s Coach, Emotional Intelligence Trainer, and creator of the Man Up Formula and Rochelle Pfieffer, an Amazon Recruiter & Breathwork Facilitator, about navigating emotional intimacy early in their romantic relationship.

Though both Rochelle and Quentin entered the relationship with the intention to show up openly, they admit it was far from easy. When triggers came up, old wounds resurfaced, and fears arose, which caused each of them to sometimes “shut down” or pull away. However, they kept leaning into the messy conversations.

Quentin shares how he constantly reminded Rochelle that her feelings were valid and necessary to talk through. Rochelle pushed herself to open up even when it felt uncomfortable and unsafe. Together, they learned tools like compartmentalizing feelings vs. taking things personally and providing a listening ear while the other expresses vulnerabilities.

While the panel acknowledges that conflict can feel excruciating at the moment, Rochelle and Quentin found an extraordinary connection, sexual chemistry and understanding of each other on the other side. By having the courage to show their hearts authentically, they built a foundation of trust and intimacy that grows deeper each day.

Karenna concludes that the emotional risks Rochelle and Quentin take continuously pay dividends in their confidence in the relationship. Their willingness to boldly confront fears about judgment or rejection provides inspiration to us all to bring more authenticity and care to our own relationships.

You can read the full podcast transcript for this episode below:

0:00
Welcome to the Fully Expressed podcast with Karenna.
0:02
This is where we invite you into your fully expression.
0:07
I truly believe that we all have an opportunity to live our lives, fully expressed, to find relationships where we feel like we can be safe enough to fully express our most authentic selves and create a career in a business that aligns with our full expression and what that actually looks like for this week.
0:26
I am so glad and so happy that we are able to do this.
0:30
So about a month ago, back in October, we had a podcast launch party in person in Encinitas, California.
0:38
So for those that know, that’s in San Diego, California, where I invited my community here and had live interview panels with amazing speakers and guest speakers.
0:49
And today you get to listen to the very first panel that we had.
0:54
This panel was so special to me because I invited two of my best friends onto the panel to share their story about what it was like to be fully honest and transparent, very early on in the relationship and when we’re dating or in the early stages of relationship, you know, there can be this dance between.
1:15
How honest am I?
1:16
How messy do I get?
1:18
What parts of me do I show with them?
1:20
What parts of me do I not show with them?
1:23
And what it actually looks like to navigate those hard conversations and I think they did a beautiful job.
1:30
The conversation went so seamlessly, so be excited to tune in.
1:34
You get to listen to this live episode just about now.
1:38
So now we’re going to do a panel.
1:40
again, for those that don’t know me, I think I didn’t say my name earlier, but my name is Karenna Soto.
1:44
I am the podcast host for the Fully Expressed podcast today.
1:49
We are going to do a live panel action with some of my greatest friends and really the goal for the pain.
1:56
I already mentioned this.
1:57
But the intention for the panel is really to talk about how to deepen really authentic relationships through communication, honesty and safety.
2:05
We get to start with Rochelle and Quentin.
2:08
So first off, thank you both for being here with me.
2:13
You guys both mean so much to me and Quentin.
2:16
It’s been so nice to get to know you so much more.
2:18
In the last has been a year already, almost almost a year since you guys started dating your love, I think is such a beautiful representation of what’s possible.
2:29
And also the depths that you guys went to super early on in your relationship I think is super admirable, which is the reason why I’ve invited them here.
2:39
, I’ll dive into that but I want to ask you guys both to introduce yourselves to everyone.
2:43
Awesome.
2:44
I’ll go first.
2:45
, my name is Rochelle and I live here in San Diego originally from Seattle and I work full time at Amazon as a recruiter and then I’m also a breath works facilitator and Karenna’s best friend.
2:59
One of them, she’s my girlfriend too.
3:02
Starting off really well.
3:04
They don’t know each other at all.
3:06
They’re putting this on for just today.
3:08
They act really good just today.
3:10
Right.
3:10
Yeah, my name is Quentin.
3:11
I also go by Q.
3:12
It’s a little easier.
3:14
So I am a men’s coach.
3:16
I also support a lot of athletes with their transition beyond sports, but I specialize in focusing on helping men embody more confidence.
3:25
I say from the boardroom to the bedroom, so we’ll be talking a little bit about the bedroom and, and intimacy and how ultimately emotional intelligence is a catalyst for deeper depth in all walks of life.
3:35
So that’s me live in Laia.
3:39
Happy to be here.
3:40
Thanks so much.
3:42
So, yeah, what I was saying is like what I’ve loved about your guys’ relationships and like the reason why I invited you guys both here, I think from a lot of conversations that I’ve had with friendships and clients and just people that I meet you know, there’s always this, like, how all in do I go at the beginning of like, day, day?
3:57
You know, you meet someone new and you’re like, how open do I be?
4:00
How vulnerable do I be?
4:01
How much do I say?
4:02
How much do I let them into?
4:03
And how much do I not?
4:04
And I think you guys really navigated that really beautifully and went really deep really quickly in the most beautiful way.
4:12
And you guys also tackled a lot of like, hard things like early on in your relationship.
4:17
And I would love for you guys to share what was that like, starting off, like open and deep and vulnerable and how great it was and also how scary it was at the same time.
4:29
Yeah.
4:30
I think for me, I was really working on myself for a while before I met Quentin and was intentionally like, not dating and I really wanted to like, heal a lot within myself so that I could show up differently.
4:48
Because I was like, ok, all my past relationships are not working out the way that I want to.
4:54
And I’m not a victim to that.
4:56
Like you co create with your partner and like, how can I show up better so that I can also attract the, the right partner for me and going into the relationship.
5:08
Like that was my intention was to be very open, very fully expressed, but it wasn’t easy at all.
5:17
No, it’s scary.
5:19
It’s like you have that intention but then when shit comes to the surface it’s like re Yeah.
5:26
Yeah.
5:26
It’s like that was her body position too.
5:29
I mean, that’s what it feels like when you’re sharing vulnerable things and putting it out there and shit comes up, you go like this.
5:34
It’s like, yeah.
5:36
Yeah.
5:36
And I think that Quentin was very helpful in that for me.
5:42
because, you know, I’m, I’m not perfect like that was my intention.
5:46
But there were moments where I was like, just wanted to shut down, my scared little girl was showing up and she just invited me into that.
5:55
So well, I was like, hey, wait, wait, wait, like let’s talk about this.
5:59
And like one thing that really stood out for me when we started dating was Quentin told me like, you’re never going to be wrong for anything you’re experiencing.
6:09
And I was like, wait, but like, are you sure?
6:12
It’s like I just had never been with someone like him before that was open to all of it necessary for me to talk about what it’s like to open up so early for me.
6:25
It’s always been a nonnegotiable, you know, to put my heart out there.
6:30
So I feel like it just came second nature, I suppose.
6:33
And I think it also helps we might at a breath work about similar to this one where you kind of know you’re getting a little bit on the same page, like someone’s done a little bit of work, like, you know, both of us have and, but the work’s always continuing and the beautiful thing about relationship is that it’s a platform to do more work.
6:50
It’s just like I say, like sports is a great, you know, proving ground to like, develop yourself as a human being.
6:56
Relationships are the same.
6:58
I mean, so I think it was, it was definitely scary because, but I think we got a lot done in a short amount of time.
7:03
We talked about that.
7:04
Like we got it all on the table, you know, for, for a little bit of context.
7:08
I was relatively fresh out of a, a long term relationship and to jump back into a co a relationship right away to not feel aligned for me and a lot of me had a hard time finding the words for that.
7:20
You know, I know a lot of guys can be, relate, relate to this that are here.
7:24
Like sometimes you, you feel something but you can’t really put the words on it, you know, until you’re maybe dealing them or you just try a few things and throw them out there and see how they land so it can be messy.
7:34
And I think that’s the biggest thing is that we were both willing to be messy.
7:37
We both didn’t expect ourselves to be perfect and we were willing to try some things out, you know.
7:43
So can I ask like, how did it feel?
7:47
I mean, I know Rachel has shared like, you, you would shut down or like close up or not want to lean in and not to be openly expressed?
7:54
Because obviously we all have trauma, right?
7:56
We all have past experiences.
7:58
Our bodies are constantly kind of like scanning the room is like, do I feel safe?
8:02
Do I not feel safe?
8:03
But when you felt her kind of shut down or like not feel safe to open up and be vulnerable with you and meet you in the conversation?
8:10
How did that feel?
8:11
And like, how did you navigate that?
8:13
All right, ladies, if you are listening in, this is for you.
8:17
If you have a friend or family member that is female that is looking for community that is looking at this path of growth and wanting to evolve as a human being, please listen in.
8:31
So I wanna share with you the fully expressed community.
8:34
If you haven’t heard about it, you need to hear about it and you’re hearing about it today and I’d love for you to check it out.
8:40
The fully expressed community is for women supporting women.
8:44
We have created a community where you can connect with other women that are also on this path of growth that are interested and curious about what else is available to them.
8:53
They want to see themselves living a life, they express in their lives and their relationships and their business.
8:59
They bring their fully authentic self into all areas of their life.
9:04
So they can actually attract a life and relationships and careers and business that is so aligned to them because they are living a life fully expressed in the fully expressed community.
9:15
We meet online every single second Wednesday of every single month at 5:30 p.m. PST and also have access to a Slack channel where I drop resources where we share information we talk about the community, we create community.
9:30
You also get access to not only the guest coaches that have been on this podcast, but also guest coaches that I have kept waiting to show you what they have to share with you when it comes to their teachings and their practitioners.
9:42
And they’re only gonna listen from me, but you’re also gonna learn from these amazing human beings that are available to you out there and here to share their gifts with you so that you can live a life fully expressed.
9:52
The fully expressed is only $27 a month.
9:56
And if you leave a review on this podcast, I will actually give to you one month to come join us for free in the fully expressed community to actually experience what it means to be in this community and these women.
10:10
So if you go leave a review for me, I’ll go do that.
10:13
You could also find more information in the show notes about the fully expressed community and I hope to see you there next month, the next second Wednesday that is available to you to be surrounded by other women that just freaking get it, that just get what you’re going through.
10:28
I’ll see you there.
10:30
Talk about scary.
10:31
That’s actually scary for me.
10:33
Yeah.
10:33
And she’s scared and she’s shutting down and there were moments where I remember we were sitting on the couch together and something came out, we were talking about something around commitment and like, what the next step looks like and where are we, where are we going?
10:45
What does this look like?
10:45
And immediately she started kind of shutting down.
10:49
You wanted to leave?
10:50
And I was like, I don’t want you to leave like I don’t, I don’t want you just to leave here.
10:54
That doesn’t feel right for me.
10:55
It doesn’t feel clean.
10:57
I want to talk about whatever’s going on, whatever’s having you feel the urge to leave because, you know, most people here probably understand fight flight or freeze, you know, we all have a different mechanism we use or attachment theories and that sort of thing.
11:09
So, you know, when I, I send someone leaving, I’m like, wait, wait, wait, wait, you know.
11:14
So so just to highlight, I mean, she got triggered and you got triggered.
11:18
Exactly.
11:18
So for anyone that’s in a relationship, that’s what happens, you know.
11:24
Yeah.
11:24
How was that for you.
11:25
Yeah, I mean, it was, it’s just hard when you’re in those moments of, like you say, you want me to open up.
11:33
But I just, my body doesn’t want to when you’re not used to experiencing it.
11:39
So I think for me it was just constantly going through situations like that and like, really asking myself to open up and knowing that it was going to be safe because I’ve just had so many experiences where it was not at all.
11:56
So, yeah.
11:57
Yeah.
11:58
And so it sounded like you were constantly being like, ok, I’m safe, like reminding yourself like I’m safe in this moment I can open up and like bring yourself back.
12:05
Were there ever moments where like qu shut down or like Quentin didn’t like where your moments came up and Rochelle was open or where you were working through harder things that Quentin was going through.
12:14
I think it, it looks different for everybody.
12:16
That’s why I want to highlight.
12:17
Yeah.
12:17
You know, like I run away in different ways, you know, self sabotage start thinking about like, oh, what else could there be?
12:26
You know, what else is out is out there?
12:28
Like do I even need this?
12:29
Is this necessary?
12:30
Right?
12:30
Is this commitment like something I really want to give my heart to?
12:34
Right?
12:34
So there’s that self sabotage internally where you just start thinking like, ok, you know.
12:39
Right.
12:39
But I, I guess it’s, it’s a form of shutdown for me or trigger.
12:43
It’s used, it, it can sometimes be getting defensive, which I know a lot of guys that I work with struggle with, it’s like I just had a client text me the other day.
12:51
He’s like, you know, what’s it mean when my wife’s, you know, bring something up to my attention like that.
12:57
I, that could have been better and I immediately get defensive and I, like, you know, say like it wasn’t me or it wasn’t my fault or it was, it’s your fault.
13:06
I’m like, well, there’s a party that’s protecting something.
13:09
I, I asked you, I asked him like, what are you protecting?
13:12
Like, why, why get defensive if you have nothing to protect?
13:15
Right?
13:15
And for me, it’s usually like there’s something deeper down that’s like, actually true about whatever he said, right?
13:22
And so that’s really my work to do, right?
13:24
To look at myself and really it’s realize what’s triggering me.
13:27
But beyond that, if I can actually separate myself from the situation,, like I said, with Rochelle and like she mentioned, like, your experience is always cool, you know, it’s valid, it’s, it’s necessary and I want you to speak that and open up about it, but I’m also not gonna take it on, you know, like it’s mine and that’s really hard to do.
13:46
I was just talking about this with her the other day.
13:48
Like I feel like I’m actually kind of good with compart compartmentalizing.
13:52
And I think that’s one thing that a lot of guys do really well and can actually be pretty helpful in situations like that because it’s really easy to want to get my ego stuck in what’s going on, right?
14:04
Or say I’m to blame for this.
14:05
I’m the reason she’s running away.
14:08
And that’s the hardest part when someone’s, like, really expressed and you’re feeling that they’re hurt, right?
14:12
Like, if you hear someone on the other side, like when Nick and I are going through stuff too, like if he’s openly talking about something that’s coming up for him, how do I hold space for that and not take it personally and that I think is such an important tool and skill set because unless you do that, you get caught up in the mud, you know, then you get caught up in the mess and it’s like, whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re both not feeling safe here right now.
14:36
And how do I create that safety?
14:38
And so I want to put that back to you guys.
14:40
Like what helped you guys create more safety to be able to navigate that repetition, repetition.
14:46
So like a lot of, a lot of reps.
14:48
Yeah.
14:49
So like being scared over and over and over again.
14:53
So like doing the thing.
14:55
Yeah, for sure.
14:56
And yeah, I think it’s to touch on what you were talking about before.
15:01
It’s that constantly reminding ourselves that we’re bouncing back and forth of holding space for each other.
15:08
And I think that one thing that we were talking about the other night was how sometimes, like I will express something to him and he will get frustrated and I think that that’s at me, but he’s just frustrated at the situation.
15:25
And more recent, this is kind of like the most raw stuff.
15:28
It’s like present you guys are getting light into their release.
15:31
I think we’ve, we’ve realized that we’re both very similar that we can sometimes take things a little personally, you know.
15:37
Like we think that if there’s silence in the room, then someone’s mad at me, you know, like, and we’ve been navigating that a lot.
15:46
It’s funny, we feel like two ships in the night sometimes where, like, we both think the other person’s mad at us because we think it’s about us, but we’re both thinking the same thing and we’re both wrong and I think it’s just a lack of really deep communication at the end of the day.
16:03
And it’s like if we were to actually sit and like, talk it through, we would realize that.
16:08
But sometimes, you know, life gets crazy and it gets busy and you’re like, doing all these things and you’re like, ok, like you’re good, I’m good, but like, you’re not actually good.
16:18
Yeah.
16:21
So, you know, you guys have talked a lot about leaning in but like, how, what ends up transforming or coming through after having the hard conversations after leaning in like what does your relationship receive and what do each of you receive with each other?
16:34
Really good sex and, and, and I just feel like you feel so deeply connected.
16:44
Yes.
16:45
Yes.
16:45
Yeah.
16:46
And it’s just more layers like you just get deeper, deeper and deeper.
16:52
And good way to describe it.
16:57
It’s just the, the more we pull up, the more we’re able to essentially heal together and work through together.
17:04
And I think by showing each other our vulnerable parts, we’re showing our hearts, right?
17:10
We’re, we’re showing we’re unmasking, we’re, and we’re taking down that wall that we all have.
17:16
You know, I’m always gonna have a piece, pieces of wall, right?
17:20
It’s just a matter of unlearning and dismantling as we go along.
17:24
So, is it fair to like we all want to be seen and loved in relationships?
17:28
We want this depth like juicy yummy relationship, but there’s all these things that you have to work through to get there, right?
17:35
Like go through the hardness.
17:36
They have the hard conversations, like hold space for each other, show your heart over and over and over again and find spaces to be held in that, be seen in that, be heard in that.
17:47
Like there’s so many times I think that happens in communication is that we’re communicating, we’re expressing ourselves and that we don’t feel hurt or the other person heard something else.
17:56
So like really learning how to get there.
17:57
But it ends up sounding like it creates such a beautiful connection between the two of you.
18:02
You guys feel more like one versus further apart, even though in the middle of the conflict or in the middle of the hard conversations, you might feel far away but you guys get 10 times closer together.
18:13
Is that fair?
18:14
Totally.
18:14
I mean, I always say like it feels like I’m dying sometimes in the, in the mid of being, I literally feel like I’m going to die and then I come out the other side.
18:24
I was like, why did I feel like that?
18:26
Because now I feel so at ease and so connected and it’s so worth it and you guys are so drawn to each other.
18:33
Oh Yeah, that’s why I said after these intense moments, the connection together after is like insane.
18:41
I’m like, why do we have to fight these hard conversations because they always lead to the best that Yeah.
18:47
Yeah.
18:48
Yeah.
18:49
Yeah.
18:49
And I truly believe that.
18:51
I mean, that’s all a lot of like what I’m trying to like share with people is like, how to navigate hard conversations, how to lean on that because there’s so much connection and conflict that we miss out on by just avoiding it by not wanting to lean into the hard conversations by not knowing how to hold a hard conversation.
19:08
But there’s so much juiciness when you learn the skills and 12, like it takes each of you doing the work that you guys have talked to, right?
19:15
Like knowing how to hold space for your own parts, then you can hold space for your partner’s parts.
19:20
And those are the types of things that one, I wish we learned in college like that would be useful.
19:26
But like, I’m so grateful for you guys actually sharing that with all of us today.
19:32
It’s a beautiful ride as a nation and I love that you guys are not only you guys started off your relationship like that, but it has been a skill that you guys constantly work on every single day in your relationships like you guys did.
19:43
I don’t know.
19:43
What was it like a week ago, a week and a half ago?
19:45
I don’t know.
19:45
And now it’s you on vacation?
19:47
Yeah.
19:48
So we did that.
19:50
Yeah, that’s true.
19:51
We help for them.
19:52
Yeah.
19:53
And we talk through all the hard stuff all the time and it’s so beautiful to witness your relationship and how it was blossom.
20:00
And I love honestly the fact that you guys set up such a beautiful foundation at the beginning of the relationship.
20:05
And that’s kind of what I keep telling anyone that’s like single because I’m like, start early.
20:09
I think it gets a lot harder when you’re like years into your relationships or years into your marriage because you evolve as a human.
20:15
But if you can start early, like you guys did in this situation and this opportunity now you guys are just repurposing that as you guys continue to evolve as human beings.
20:25
So, thank you.
20:26
Thank you.
20:27
All right.
20:27
Thank you so much for tuning into that.
20:30
I hope you found that conversation as helpful as I did.
20:33
As helpful as the other people in the room listened to it.
20:35
It was really, really great to hear Quintin’s and Rochelle’s honest and vulnerability throughout it, the challenges and as well as how they just truly found deeper connection by leaning into these kinds of conversations.
20:50
If you found this conversation helpful, if you think of anyone that would love to listen to this, please share this with them and stay tuned for the next week’s episode because the next panel will be with a special guest or we get to talk all about sex and intimacy and what it means to really welcome both the feminine and the masculine energy and expression and relationship and how communication really, really is really important to that.
21:18
So, looking forward to hearing next week.
21:20
Thank you so much.

Episode Highlights:

  • Tackling issues like commitment early on
  • Learning to hold space for each other’s triggers
  • Sitting with discomfort and unpacking shutdowns
  • Separating your partner’s moods/issues from your own
  • Allowing the beauty of emotional expression
  • Depth of connection after leaning into the work
  • Ongoing openness creates extraordinary bonds

Connect with Quentin and Rochelle:

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Karenna Soto

I’m an expert in communication, creating healthy professional and personal relaitonships, and in managing and overcoming anxiety with a knack for navigating difficult conversations both in personal and professional atmospheres. I am here to invite you into your fullest authentic expression and personal evolution.

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I know how debilitating it can feel to be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel of a life that you don’t enjoy living. Sure, externally you’ve got it all together, but internally, it likely feels like you’re questioning E V E R Y T H I N G.

Can you relate?

It was when I felt disconnect with what I was doing, and with how I was showing up in my life that I realized the answers lied in how I was doing what I was doing that I decided I no longer wanted to keep living within the box of what I was told to be and decided to boldly express myself and stand for what truly mattered to me.

I have seen the power of fully expressing myself in my personal and professional life. Now I want to bring it to the masses, which is why I’ve created this podcast.

This podcast is my invitation to all people struggling to be fully expressed in life, relationships, and business. It’s for those who are wanting to feel A L I V E, connected, and in love with their life, relationships, and business.

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