Never Blow Up in the BB House

by Dan Gheesling

Here is a blog post Dan wrote before heading to the BB14 House. I think it is perfect timing to post this one, considering the drama that ensued last night….

How I Avoided Blowing Up in the BB House.

This game is all about one thing: self control.  When houseguests blow up, they’re gone.  It’s as simple as that.  It is inevitable that at some point everyone experiences conflict in the house.  When this happens those who are able to maintain their self control are the ones who come out with the least amount of damage.

Will Kirby.

I first learned the importance of this when I began preparing to enter the house for the first time on Season 10.  I went and watched Season 6, 7, 8, 9, and 2.  Throughout all of the seasons, one player, Will Kirby, had done something no one else had done: NEVER lost his cool.  No yelling, no screaming, insulting, or even so much as raising his voice.  It wasn’t that he was never the target of anyone’s attacks or arguments, it was how he handled it that allowed him to be successful.


There was clearly a direct relation between success and longevity in the game and how you handled conflict in the house.

Personally, I use three tactics to maintain self control:

1) I admit fault.
2) I take it like a champ.
3) I isolate the aggressor.

Admitting Fault.

One thing I learned from watching Will’s game is that when he got pushed hard, he would almost always admit his fault to the other person.  Sayings like “you know what, you’re right” and “I’m sorry, you are completely right to be mad at me”. This usually DISARMED the pissed off house guest.

The specific incident, I felt Will was in the toughest position was back in Season 2.  He was in the hot tub and Krysta went after him pretty hard.  He sat there and just took it, while admitting fault.  The situation didn’t escalate, it just slowly went away.

To see how I put this into play, you can go back and look at how I talked to Michelle when she confronted me after America voted out Jesse.

Taking it Like a Champ.

Whenever I get confronted by another houseguest who was extremely pissed off and looking for answers and or revenge I did the EXACT opposite of what most people do.  I let them vent and I take it all in.  I don’t raise my voice and in return it doesn’t add any fuel to the fire.

This season, I plan to coach my players, to do the same.  It is not easy to sit there and take someone going off on you.  But when it happens to me, I literally ask myself internally, what do I need to say to immediately disarm this person.  Admitting fault, showing guilt and shame, and sometimes offering to make amends with a future vote are all things that will play through my head as options during a scream fest.

Isolating the Aggressor.

Another thing that allowed me to have some success on Season 10 is isolating the pissed off person.  Take Ollie for example: when all hell broke loose after Replacement Nominee Roulette, I got the hell out of the fire.  It may seem like a weak or passive move, but in actuality it is a move that shifts power from the aggressor and  into my hands.

By walking away, the mob mentality gets beat.  It is a lot easier to disarm one person at a time, than to take on 2, 3, or even 4 people.

Taking it one step further, I will also make it a point after things settle down, to approach the person and offer them an invitation to talk privately.  This shows a small sign of goodwill and an extending of the olive branch.  Even if they don’t want to talk to you, they will be thinking about the fact that you reached out to them.

It is my goal to teach the strategy of admitting fault, taking it like a champ and isolating the aggressor  to my teammates this season!

  • Dee

    Good advice for both the Big Brother house and real life in general. Dan’s a smart guy who is getting a bit of a raw deal from the other coaches this year. In their tunnel vision of thinking that they may be entering the game at some point, they’re pushing really hard to knock all of Dan’s players out so that they don’t have to play against him. I feel like if Danielle can survive this week, both of them will go far in the game. Hopefully this is what will happen because I’m not ready to see him leave the house yet. He’s the #1 reason why I’m watching this season and I’m 100% on Team Dan!

    • Brian

      Even better for all us huge Dan fans how about if in fact losing all the players on your team is what allows a coach to enter the game as a player. Boy would that certainly backfire on all the other scared coaches and players targeting Dan’s players to get rid of Dan.

  • Virginia

    Nice blog, but not entirely accurate. On Big Brother Allstars, he did lose his cool! Janelle got under his “circuitry and wires” skin and had him raising his voice and losing his SHIT. Ha Ha!!!

  • bvan

    So far, Dan has thrown the Coach Comps and for good reason. When the time is right, I can see Dan start dominating these competitions, and unless they change the way they do it (which is always possible in BB) Dan could easily win back to back to back coach comps, which would insure Danielle stays in the game.

  • sandy

    I agree.. I hope Danielle is not voted off this week.. Dan is so much smarter than Boogie and Janelle..I hope he stays too..

  • Judy

    Me to!!! I am definetly Team Dan……..I only started watching since BB11 so I never got to see Dan play. But immediately I fell in love with him this season and knew I wanted him and his team to win. He
    has great advice in and out of the Big Brother house!
    GOOD LUCK DAN!!!!!!!

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  • Apryl Wehner

    Great advice Dan! I will print this out and give a copy to each of my sons, ages 26 and 33 this is good advice that they can and should learn and use as Dee said in real life. Go team Dan!

  • Ryan aka duq

    This really is a great post and it shows why Dan has been so great at the BB game and at life, in general. I would be curious to ask Dan if he was ever challenged with anger issues before following these techniques, or if he has always succeeded at keeping his composure.

    I agree with the first comment that these are great tips for life – especially in this age of school yard bullying.

  • Andi

    All these things prove one thing to me that I’ve said time and again: Dan won season 10 unanimously because he knows how to treat people with respect kindness. Being able to admit fault is a sign of humility, and shows others that you aren’t a jerk. This is why I loved Dan from episode one of Season 10. Love that he’s trying to teach others this tactic :)

  • Shelly

    I love reading this. Chelsea, thank you for sharing these insights. Much like the other comments, this is why Dan will remain my all time fave player. He played with class. Having applied..and knowing my temper, I’d be less than successful. lol But…i
    he is so full of knowledge & the only one to win 7-0…all because he handles people so well!! Here I thought his book was the last of his insight!! :) These posts are awesome!!

  • Boya J

    Hey Chelsea, I’m a viewer from Hong Kong. I have been a BB fan several years, and Dan is definitely my favorite player. You two really make a nice couple, and I admire you two for doing good things in life. Bless!

  • Tiffany

    I loved Dan in season 10 and I was so excited to see him come back. I am going to print this off myself because my family can get quite as crazy as the BB house and sometimes I forget to keep my mouth shut! :P As Shelly said, Dan played with class. I love that he is respectful to people and human enough to try and live by these tips rather than immediately going to the beastly character that many of us can’t avoid (anger!). It’s a rare and admirable characteristic because it is so difficult to hold your tongue at times! Also awesome that he wants to share this with others, I will definately be trying to be more like Dan when it comes to arguements in life! It would be really neat if Dan does get back in the game, I suspected something along those lines as they started with only 11 players and got rid of one right away. And wouldn’t that stifle Boogie’s ego about winning against “all stars” if Dan were to win for a second time? :D Anyway, proudly cheering for Dan once again, God bless!

  • Laurie Chamberlain

    It’s Monday 8-20-12 @2:25. I read this bit of sage advice after reading tweets about Froogie going off on people after Jenn named replacement nominee. Wise man!

  • Jeri Lynn

    Great advice Dan! This just makes me like him even more. A lot of ppl will say they’re going to act or do something, but never do. I’ve always looked at Dan as an honest genuine guy, but this just affirms that. He is doing just as he said he’d do. Asking to speak to ppl one-on-one and keeping his cool.
    It really bothers me seeing how Frankenboogie are treating him. When they get out and see that Dan was only protecting Ian, maybe they’ll think twice about their actions(but I doubt it).
    All I have to say is, the househuests better be on high alert, bc they just woke up a sleeping giant in Dan. He’s gonna tear through the upcoming HOH comps like a champ. Now that he feels threatened, he’s gonna make one hell of a competitor:) I don’t like seeing ppl target him, but it makes for a better show, bc he’s gonna hell to beat.
    Go Dan, Brit, Danielle, and Shane! Ian too, of course. But I’d like to see Dan and Brit in the final 2:)

  • Marty

    Thanks for reposting this via Twitter. It was amazing watching Dan’s self-control yesterday. He had just been telling Shane (?) how disappointed he had been in himself for even responding to Frank in the kitchen earlier (“Likewise”). At the time I really thought that Dan was being too hard on himself, but I now see it as a blessing, because he gave himself that small reminder of what was the right thing to do, and I think it gave him an extra strength when Boogie and Frank came at him hard yesterday.

    It must be really difficult for you at times, watching this and not being able to comfort him. But it should also make you proud, and reaffirm your decision to have made him your life partner and father of your children. He is as solid as they come.

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  • Lana

    You just did what you said. Go Green! Keep the faith Chelsea. Spartan faithful is behind him!

    • Chelsea Gheesling

      GO MSU!

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