Podcast #7: Treat Yourself Like Toddler, Beware the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” Conversation, and the Benefit of Lowered Expectations.

My sister Elizabeth Craft and I are having so much fun with our new podcast,  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been on my book tour for Better Than Before, and many people have told me that they’re enjoying it. Thanks so much, and thanks for listening! (If you like the podcast, we’re sheepishly asking people to rate and/or review it, if time and inclination permit; very helpful for a new podcast like ours.)

Today I’m off to Toronto. Can’t wait — I love Canada.

Before describing this week’s episode, I want to say thanks to the folks at iTunes; they created something special for me, a single page on iTunes where people can find Happier with Gretchen Rubin as well as my books.  And I can’t resist quoting what they said:

“We’re major fans of Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project. Rubin’s fascination with human behavior–as well as her sincere believe that we can make our lives more fulfilling and joyous–shines through in her podcasts, blog, and books. Her new book, Better Than Before, looks at how we form and break habits and is packed with her trademark warmth, wit, and down-to-earth intelligence.”

Gosh! That’s nice to see.

Here’s what Elizabeth and I discuss in today’s episode:

Try This at Home: Treat yourself like a toddler. A cranky toddler.

Happiness Stumbling Block: Ever find yourself in an endless “I’m right; you’re wrong” conversation?

Listener Question: “How do you work on a habit that’s not a priority for your partner or family?” Good question. This comes up a lot with habits.

Gretchen’s Demerit: I unjustly accuse my husband of failing to fax an important form for me. I headed straight to blame! Sheesh.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth’s lowered expectations for the weather in Hawaii meant that her family had a better vacation, in the end.

Thanks again to our advertiser, Framebridge — a terrific way to get your art and photos framed, in a super easy and affordable way. Use the code HAPPIER at checkout to get 20% off your first Framebridge order.

To listen to this episode, just zip to the bottom of this post and hit the red “play” button.

Or if you’re reading this post by email, click here to view online, to listen to the podcast from this post.

Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).

Each week, we give  a “Try This at Home” suggestion, for some easy habit you can try, as part of your ordinary routine, to boost your happiness—something like setting an alarm to signal your bedtime, or using the one-minute rule, to help yourself stay on top of small nagging tasks.

We also suggest questions to help you “Know Yourself Better”—like “Whom do you envy?” and “Are you a Marathoner or a Sprinter in your work style?”—and explore “Happiness Stumbling Blocks,” those small, seemingly insignificant parts of daily life that drag us down—everything from the problem of the Evil Donut-Bringer to the fact that working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.

We “Grill the Guest” (well, we plan to — we haven’t had a guest yet), consider “Listener Questions,” and finally, we get even more personal, and each of us either gives ourselves a “Demerit” for a mistake we made that week, that affected our happiness, or awards a “Gold Star” to someone or something that deserves recognition.

We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really. Instructions here.

Or for an amusing short how-to video made by Ira Glass of This American Life, click here.

If you want to listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

Tell us what you think! Drop us a line at @gretchenrubin, @elizabethcraft, Facebook, podcast@gretchenrubin.com, or call 774-277-9336. Or just add your comment to this post.

Again, be sure to subscribe and listen and subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode. And if you enjoyed it, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

Happy listening! Or I should say, HAPPIER listening!

  • bottomgirl

    wanna become a girl looking for some old female clothing tights short miny skirts leggings and what ever please help me females only

  • shalomew

    What treadmill desk do you recommend?

    • gretchenrubin

      I bought Elizabeth a Lifespan model.

      • shalomew

        Thanks! My husband just started working from home so he is thinking of using one.
        Love your podcast with your sister!

  • emd04

    I love these podcasts!

  • Dianne Ochiltree

    Ouch…those I’m right, you’re wrong conversations even in my own head are real happy-busters! ;o) Thanks for the reminder.

  • Megan

    My dad always had us keep an “emergency sweatshirt” in the trunk of the car. The idea was that if we were stranded for whatever reason we could deal with the cold, but it also worked for movie theaters, unexpectedly cold places, and outdoor parties that lasted longer than expected. It’s something I’ve taken to doing as an adult too.

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  • I know I’m late to the party but I love the idea of treating yourself like a toddler. For so long, I would try and hide my feelings and bottle everything in, but then I read somewhere that you would never tell a child to stop crying if they’re sad. The second I allowed myself to break down, I felt instantly better. It’s best to let out feelings and really do what you need to do to rid yourself of any hindrances. Great podcast!

    • gretchenrubin

      Great to hear that it struck a chord!

  • Melissa Anders

    I love the idea of treating yourself like a toddler. The concept reminds me of how I was feeling when I trying to get pregnant (and once I was pregnant and… nursing too actually…) Why didn’t I treat myself like I was pregnant all the time? All of a sudden I stopped drinking coffee, wine and started taking my vitamins and doing yoga every day. I should just pretend I am pregnant all the time! I guess that means I am an obliger Gretchen? As long as I am doing it for someone else (especially my kid) … it’s easy to make some changes…..

  • Thank you for this podcast. As a mom of 4, this is a very easy concept for me to get. Treating myself as a toddler is something that I will start immediately!

  • MiJo

    Listening to this one again because of a recent oppositional conversation. Short of calling someone on their style, is there a good way to deal with it? I mean, suppose it’s your coworker or boss and you’d like to steer into a happier (more positive, more productive) communication style?

  • Jen

    I am on the same page with Mijo who had additional questions. I thought the concept of oppositional conversation as a stumbling block was absolutely fascinating. But, unlike other challenges you discuss, you didn’t really give much advice for how someone who does this could change, or how to converse with one of these types of people without becoming annoyed or defensive?

    Loved concept of treat yourself like a toddler. Going to stop wearing shoes to work that really arent comfortable and make sure I eat when I need to at work and go to bed earlier to avoid crankiness. Great tip!!