Podcast 28: Don’t Interview for Pain, Face the Challenge of Shared Work, and Whether to Keep Ice Cream in the Freezer.


Elizabeth is an Obliger, and we’re holding her accountable for writing her novel — she explains why, in fact, she has not yet started.

Try This at Home

Don’t interview for pain.

I’m quoting from Michael Thompson and Catherine O’Neill Grace’s terrific Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children. I love this book.

Here’s the passage I read:

I believe that we live the story we tell ourselves–and others–about the life we’re leading…If you constantly interview your child for pain, your child may begin to hear a story of social suffering emerge from her own mouth. Soon she will begin to believe it and will see herself as a victim….

Please understand that I am not advising you to disbelieve our children, nor am I saying that you should not be empathic…But…don’t interview for pain, don’t nurture resentments, and don’t hold on to ancient history. Kids don’t.

Happiness Stumbling Block

Navigating the challenges of shared work.  This is a very common stumbling block!

Listener Questioner

“My husband loves to have ice cream in the freezer, but I find myself in the kitchen with a spoon at 10:00 a.m. because I just cannot get the ice cream out of my head.” To hear the Abstainer vs. Moderator discussion, it’s in episode 2.

Elizabeth’s Demerit

Elizabeth was so stressed about her family being on time for the first day of kindergarten that they showed up too early.

Gretchen’s Gold Star

I love my special drawer. Can you think of a better name? Special drawer is a little…generic.




Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.