Podcast 92: Leave Something Unsaid, an Interview with Manoush Zomorodi, and a Retroactive Demerit.

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

Update: In episode 75, two listeners asked how to help their Rebel sweethearts land a job, and one reported back — job secured! Which is terrific.

Side note: If you’re going to give one of my books as a holiday gift, and you’d like to request a personalized, signed bookplate or signature card to make the present more special, request it here — U.S. and Canada only, sorry, mailing costs.

Try This at Home: Leave something unsaid.

Just to be clear — we’re not saying that we should never have important, difficult, uncomfortable conversations, but rather that we’re happier when we mindfully choose the time and place to have that discussion.

Happiness Hack: If it’s important to someone that you eat a lot when you’re eating at this person’s house, take a tiny first portion so you can take “seconds.”

Interview: Manoush Zomorodi, the host and managing editor of the terrific podcast Note to Self — “the tech show about being human.”

We talk about the Abstainer/Moderator split. Again. And the Four Tendencies framework — the quiz is here, if you want to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.

Manoush’s Try This at Home is to single-task.

Gretchen’s Demerit: I give myself a retroactive demerit for emailing people over the weekend, without hesitation, for the past few decades. Lesson learned. I now use “Delay Delivery.”

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth’s weight-training trainer pushed her to do 200 pounds even though it was a tough morning.

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1pixHappier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #92

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HAPPIER listening!

  • Stella Jervis

    This was a super awesome episode. I love Manoush, and I love her thoughts on technology. Also, it sounds like you are at last post-election. I’m finding it really comforting that so many people are with me in the post-election-yucks. It’s a small comfort knowing we are in this together.

  • Carlotta Bosso

    awesome episode! i love longer episodes! the keep me company all the way to work ! 🙂

  • Marie-Claire

    Great episode, it kept me company while I cleaned my post-Thanksgiving disaster of a kitchen! I just wanted to share one instance of not saying something was beneficial: a friend and her crotchety old cat stayed with me during a housing transition, and I occasionally tended the cat when my friend was away. Well. I got bit one day but didn’t tell my friend, the poor cat was probably feeling awful about spending her last days in a stranger’s home… I’m so happy I didn’t mention it because her cat died shortly thereafter, and I was able to console my friend without any awkwardness between us.

    • gretchenrubin

      Great to hear it struck a chord!

    • HEHink

      Such a wise and kind choice! Since your friend will never know, I’d like to offer you my appreciation, on her behalf, as a cat lover.

  • Leslie Fischer

    Your guest is absolutely delightful. Thank you for the idea of a new podcast to follow! She is articulate, smart but also down to earth enough to make it enjoyable listening. What a gem.

    • gretchenrubin

      Terrific! Great to hear you enjoyed the interview. You will love NOTE TO SELF.

  • Doctor Zil

    I had to laugh at the description of someone pacing around their bathroom late at night to hit a certain number of steps on a Fitbit, because I do that! I thought it was just me! But I’m for sure not an upholder, which seemed to be the impression of someone who would do this – I’m more of a Questioner/Obliger so I’m not sure how that works. I think for an Obliger, the Fitbit actually works well, since you get a feeling of accomplishment and having “done what you’re supposed to do” if you hit that certain number.

  • Mary Laura

    Just in case no one has pressed the suggestion yet, Gretchen & Liz, please work with Manoush to curate habit apps by tendencies.

  • I have been binge-listening to the Happier podcasts but never find time to come here to comment! (you lost me for a while after the Thank You Note Debacle, but I came back 🙂 ). I like to listen to Happier in the morning while i make breakfast – a nice way to start my day!

    Really enjoyed the interview with Manoush and will definitely try her podcast – thanks!

    The suggestion to stop multi-tasking is a tough one for me – I do it constantly. In fact, I would never have time to listen to podcasts if I didn’t listen while I cook, walk, drive, do laundry, etc! That’s also how I listen to audio books, which I love. But I am guilty of exactly what Gretchen described – trying to read e-mails or do other things while on the phone with my mom (her calls always last at least an hour!). I had over 900 emails piled up from a recent vacation and have been working through those while listening to the Happier 911 Playlist – does that count as multi-tasking? And when my husband and I watch Jeopardy each evening, I am always doing other things – checking Facebook, reading emails, etc. Those are just a few examples – I really multi-task just about everything! Going to try to be conscious of it & limit it.

    Another great episode! Thanks –


    Book By

  • Carol

    You really need to have a moderator on the podcast.
    A good app for questioners is My Fitness Pal.You put in all of calories you’ve consumed and all you’ve burned. I like to look at my totals and see if I can afford to eat something I’m craving.

  • Mairsydoats

    Questions to NOT ask: Do not ask long-time singles about their love lives. If someone fell in love since the last holiday, believe me, it will come up without prompting. I get that this isn’t on your radar as married folk, but sheesh, it sure is on mine. It seems like it might be in the same category as asking high school students about college. Extremely tempting, almost reflex to ask the question, but a high probability of making the questionee uncomfortable.