462: A Surprising Way to Be More Likeable, a Habit-Keeping Hack, and an Unusual In-Laws Problem 

Try This at Home

State your preference.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, new research suggests that stating a preference—even if you don’t really have a preference—is better for your relationships than saying you’re happy with any option.

Happiness Hack

Remember, good habits often become self-reinforcing, so it gets easier to stick to the habit.

I mention the Habits hub on my website—so many resources there.

Know Yourself Better

Did you ever make a vow as a child, “When I grow up, I will ____?” Did you keep that vow?

We answered that question ourselves, and shared answers from listeners.

Listener Question

A listener asks how to tell her in-laws to stop buying her so many gifts.

We mention the over-buyer and under-buyer distinction, the Gift-Giving quiz, and the Five Love Languages.

Demerits & Gold Stars

Elizabeth’s Demerit: She didn’t decorate for Christmas until the last minute.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give gold stars to my daughters Eliza and Eleanor for being so willing to run errands.


This week is the anniversary of my book The Happiness Projectand to celebrate, I’ll be re-doing my own happiness project as part of my new course “The Happiness Project: Revisited.” I’m giving away one free spot for the course! Visit my profile on Instagram or Facebook for some simple instructions on how to enter. I’ll randomly select one winner to announce on social media by 1/3/24.

For more, visit my website.

What We’re Reading

  • Elizabeth: Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career by Kristi Coulter (Amazon, Bookshop
  • Gretchen: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (Amazon, Bookshop

Transcript coming soon. 

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