Settling for Dysfunction

Emily Goodson
3 min readDec 1, 2022


My dream date with a fictional character?

The answer is — without a doubt — Roy Kent from the TV show Ted Lasso. Yes; the so-called brunette Oscar the Grouch. There’s literally no hesitation in my mind.

A woman seated cross-legged and smiling in an orange jumpsuit

True to form, when I go into companies to teach wellbeing, I usually open workshops with my favorite Roy Kent scene.

In case you haven’t seen it, in the first episode of the second season of Ted Lasso, a few of the characters go on a double date. After the date, the group huddles to evaluate the newest addition — a man the character Rebecca has started seeing. As Rebecca tries to talk herself into how great the guy is and as another woman tries to drum up positive traits, Roy Kent steps in to say what no one else will — that the guy is “just fine.”

He’s “just fine” as are most people, but no one should be settling for “fine” in their romantic life. They should instead feel like lightning has struck when they are with the other person.

I started working with an osteopath three years ago. I’ve learned a lot about my body working with osteopaths. (Yes, you caught me, I’m that woman you see furiously scribbling on a notepad after emerging from a doctor’s office in Los Angeles.)

One of the things I learned early on from my osteopaths is that I’ve had a tendency to “settle for dysfunction” in my body.

I remember bouncing into an appointment two years ago to give my regular status update, as I like to do. After listing off several positive changes in my body, I remember telling my doctor that my right knee had started aching — a tinge of disappointment in my voice as I shared the negative update.

After discussion and treatment, I reversed my perspective — the aching wasn’t as new as I thought. This wasn’t a new negative development, but more a new awareness of an existing feeling.

My right knee has always ached. It carries the majority of my body weight due to an injury I had as a child; so, how could it not ache? Or maybe the question should be — how could I not have noticed it ached?

Osteopathy has brought my body’s sensory powers back online. In that process, my new powers showed me I had gotten used to a certain level of dysfunction in my body — manifested in me thinking my aching was normal.

Fast forward to the present day, I’ve been moving into a new apartment after several months of nonstop travel. And as I’ve started to unpack things and settle back into my old routine in Los Angeles, you’ll never guess what has happened.

Unfortunately — I know you all were hoping — but no, Roy Kent has yet to walk in the new apartment door. What has happened though is that my lower back, neck, and right hip unexpectedly really started to hurt, in ways I haven’t ever felt.

After two visits to my osteopath, we figured out the guilty party — you may have guessed it — my old mattress. Four months on hotel and Airbnb beds had shifted me out of my old sleeping patterns and when I returned to sleeping on my former mattress night after night, I realized my old patterns hadn’t been serving me. Once again, I had been settling for dysfunction and hadn’t realized it until I shook myself out of my initial pattern.

Isn’t it the same in workplaces and, as Roy Kent told us, romantic relationships?

We settle for what we think is “normal,” but in reality, it’s just “dysfunction” with a pretty name.

Until we all have the Roy Kent we need in our lives — the one who points out where we’re settling — you’re welcome to join my group coaching sessions next year. As for me, I’m going to keep listening to my intuition when it tells me to shake everything up. I’ve found there is always a lot of good on the other end — starting this time with a new mattress.


Emily Goodson is a writer, speaker, and workplace culture advisor. Learn more about Emily on Instagram and LinkedIn.



Emily Goodson

Intimacy. Disability. Wellbeing.