Podcast 20: Very Special Episode! Featuring Great Comments from Our Listeners.

It’s Wednesday — time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Yes, it’s the Very Special Episode! (I’ve always loved that phrase so very happy to have an excuse to use it.)

We’ve had such terrific comments from listeners that we wanted to give everyone a chance to hear from everyone else. It seemed like a great way to celebrate hitting the milestone of our 20th episode (plus, we’ve had almost two million downloads, yowza). We couldn’t include all comments, alas, but we read them all — so fascinating.

First, we asked people, “If you could change one aspect of a relationship, what would you change?

Such insightful comments. Elizabeth and I were very impressed by the fact that so many people talked about how they wanted to change themselves, in order to change a relationship. So wise. The only person we can change is ourselves.

If you want to watch the scene we play from the brilliant movie Broadcast News, go here.

We also asked people to call in with their demerits and gold stars. So many interesting ones.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro technique that was mentioned, go here.

Elizabeth appreciated all the kind comments about her voice!

We end with a special request of our listeners — to Make a Friend Happier.  For a new podcast like ours, it really helps to get the word out — and for that, word of mouth is the best. If you’re a fan, make a friend happier by telling them about the podcast — and don’t just mention it, actually show that person how to subscribe. A lot of people are intrigued by podcasts, but just don’t know how to listen. It really is super-easy. Instructions here, or scroll down to the bottom of this post. We really appreciate the help.

Don’t miss the final comment, right at the very end! Spoiler alert: skunk.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors. Want to avoid post-office pain, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a no-risk trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

Also, check out The Great Courses for a wide variety of fascinating courses. Special offer for our listeners: go to thegreatcourses.com/happier to order from eight of their bestselling courses, including The Art of Travel Photography, and get up to 80% off. Limited time.

We’d love to hear from you:  contact us with your questions, comments, examples, anything. Get in touch!

Comment below. Email: podcast@gretchenrubin.com. Twitter: @gretchenrubin and @elizabethcraft. Call: 744-277-9336. Here’s the Facebook Page.

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).  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.

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.)

HAPPIER listening!

  • Mary

    Nice to hear all the Very Special happy voices! I’m also trying to improve my relationship with myself. I’ve just started treating “me” as a very special child who needs extra TLC treatment. Not as easy as it sounds but we have to take care of ourselves before we help others.

  • Sara S

    For some reason, I found myself bawling listening to all the gold stars. I think the thought of all the happiness out there got to me. Thanks for making my day!

    • gretchenrubin

      That’s so nice to hear!

  • Donna

    Persons who read your happiness website or listen to the podcasts are into self-awareness and have learned that they can only change themselves. I believe that is why there were so many listeners who found their problems with their partner as their own responsibility. Happiness is sometimes an effort with the ups and downs of daily life and these people are doing the work. I find your blog and podcasts a positive part of my daily life that keeps me making the effort to look on the bright side. As they say, do you want to be right or happy? I choose happy.

    • gretchenrubin

      Terrific! thanks for listening.

    • Penelope Schmitt

      So agree with what you say! People who have made the decision that “happiness is an inside job” really rock. Great to hear so many who are working toward better lives this way.

  • Gillian

    The discussion about the male/female tendencies in discussing an issue – women like to talk about it, men don’t – resonated with me but my situation is the reverse. My husband will talk a subject to death – go on and on about it, mostly repeating the same thoughts over and over again. It drives me nuts and I tend to tune out. My approach is to say what needs to be said, once, then shut up about it. After some time contemplating the issue, if I have something new to contribute or have come to a decision, then it’s time to re-open the conversation. I guess we’re the exception that makes the rule.

  • Jess

    I just wanted to give the mom from Colorado that called in (about her impatience with her 3 year old son now that she has a baby as well) a big HUG! I have 3 little ones myself and it seems my patience is ALWAYS something I want to work on. I hope that Gretchen and Elizabeth can address some ideas for this mom (and many other parents!) with maybe some tips that worked best from the 21 days stop yelling at your kids project! I’m a faithful reader and podcast listener and this podcast is definitely my weekly treat on my commute 🙂

    • Julee

      I also really felt for the mom of the three year old and wanted to pass along a recommendation for a couple books that have really helped me in being patient and empathetic with my children. Both books are by Dr. Laura Markham. The first one I read was “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” and her new one is “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings.” My children are older than hers (seven and nine), but I believe these books are just as relevant to younger children. I hope she sees this recommendation!

  • Mary

    Gretchen asked that we share Happier podcasts with a friend. Although I enjoyed the Very Special podcast, it’s not a typical podcast that would give newbies a true taste of Happiness. I’ve just started the podcasts and really enjoyed Podcast 19, esp the 10% Happier interview. I’d like to hear which podcasts others recommend for new listeners.

    • Anne

      The episode “stop and smell the happy” in which Gretchen and Elizabeth talk about how work can be a dangerous form of procrastination got me hooked! It was an early episode, maybe the second one.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for this feedback! Great question.

  • Mary

    Wow! Podcast 5 on smell happiness/work procrastination is full of great info! I’ve been wanting to find a weight class like Gretchen talks about in The Happiness Project and they talk about Inform super slow 20 min/once week workouts! Plus a reminder of how the sense of smell can boost your mood and tips to start your dayon a happy foot. Thanks!

  • Maricel

    Hi Gretchen and Elizabeth, thanks for your wonderful podcast. I really enjoy it and expect it very ansious every week.
    I heard Elizabeth’s desire to work on her communication skills with her husband, and I felt very identfied. My husband is just alike, or maybe, sometimes, worst. We work together and we have no problems communication in issues related to work, but when it comes to our family life, he doesn’t want to hear details or really get involve on the issue. So, what I found as a solution was to present him isdues with the same format as I do it for work. I pre-elaborate a chart with the main topics of the issue we have to deal with, pointing adventages and conts that I can visualize. Then, as always happens, in work, he will question and discuss every single point, or even more, rewrited (he’s an Engeenier, so everything must be very accurate).
    When I show him this situation, he says that for him is very difficult to have a clear slate in front of him in relation with family issues. He needs my imput to start thinking. He feels that through this action I am saying to him: “doesn’t matter what we choose, we will be together, for good or for worst”

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for listening – great example of how to handle this!

  • JeanStar

    I really like Elizabeths voice. It sounds genuine, its laid back, and sarcastic sounding. Its awesome. And Gretchen’s voice is nice too because its different from her sister. Keep up the good work!

  • splendidsyd

    My sister and I are at very busy stages in our lives right now: last year she had her first baby a week before I moved from Chicago to Indianapolis to move in with my boyfriend and begin a new job in the new city, and this year she’s getting married. I have definite found that working on projects with her helps us to stay connected, even (and often especially!) during the busy times. Planning my sister’s baby shower while packing to leave a job and move out of state definitely led to a few crazy months, but our purposeful planning check-ins usually started conversations that helped us to feel more connected and closer even though we live apart. This spring we’ll be working on planning her wedding, and I can’t be more excited to be her maid of honor and have such an exciting reason to check in with her almost daily!

  • Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

    Posted about this episode (in particular about something Elizabeth and I seem to share / have in common) … and also about a “try it at home” exercise I did: http://nooblogs.com/2016/01/30/i-neither-like-nor-want-to-talk-about-me/

  • Amanda

    Recently my bestfriend and I have started working together. That has since deepened our relationship tremendously. However last week she told me about this podcast Happier. I started listening to it and immediately was hooked. She is now relistening so we can talk about it together. It is working great and is something so positive to talk about

    • gretchenrubin

      That’s great to hear. Thanks for listening!

  • Hadley

    In this podcast, you mention doing an episode where you talk about Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages. I’ve just recently found your podcasts, so am still catching up, but I haven’t been able to find the one in which you discuss his book? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

    • gretchenrubin

      We still haven’t done that! Stay tuned. Fascinating subject.

  • Carol

    Hi, Gretchen and Elizabeth! I know I’m late to the party but I’d like to share something about fertility that perhaps might be helpful to Elizabeth and/or to other people: FAM – fertility awareness method!

    Don’t worry, it’s definitely NOT the same thing as the Rhythm method!

    With FAM, you learn how to monitor and interpret your own body’s fertility signs, on a day-to-day basis, so you can truly understand what is going on at each day of the menstrual cycle. It’s effective for both achieving and avoiding pregnancy, but it’s so much more than that! By being more in tune with and paying attention to your own body, you can gain a lot of insight about your own health – and if you need to seek professional health, you’ll have some precious info to help address whatever issue you might be having.

    There are some great resources to learn more about FAM, here are a few:
    – the “Fertility Friday” podcast and blog
    – the “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” book (it’s large, because it’s so comprehensive! But it’s separated in sections and chapters so you don’t have to read it all. Plus it’s an engaging read, informative but not too technical, and so worth it!)
    – there are also Fertility Awareness Educators, professionals who are especially trained in reproductive health to be able to teach FAM to women and couples.