Small talk, the “cornerstone of civility”

Last month we shared with reporters shyness expert Bernardo J. Carducci’s tips for making small talk more interesting and comfortable. His suggestions, such as arriving at events on time and focusing on being nice rather than titillating, are helpful around the holidays but also practical any time of the year. “Small talk is really, really […]

A revolutionary, even evolutionary, concept of happiness

This CNN article about happiness fascinates me and has gotten the two angels on my shoulders whispering in my ears. The hedonic angel, who resembles my mischievous friend Ben, tells me it’s junk science and, well, I can’t repeat here the rest of his colorful commentary. The other angel looks and sounds a lot like […]

Two gifts from Bernardo Carducci

The holiday season can be trying for many people because of what psychology professor and shyness expert Bernardo Carducci calls “density intensity,” which can deepen holiday blues, and because of a discomfort with small talk, a social staple that gets a bad rap even though Carducci refers to it as “the cornerstone of civility.” Gift […]

Give the kids a break — transition can be hard at any age

When I dropped my daughter off for kindergarten two years ago, I cried as I walked away because she also was crying as the teacher took her by the hand and led her classmates into the school. So much has changed – as a second-grader, she insisted I not help her carry her supplies or […]