Best. News. Ever? Dan Ariely Says to “Stop Making Small Talk”

I've written a few times about how uncomfortable I am making small talk. And it doesn't matter if it's someone I know or a complete stranger. So imagine my excitement when I saw the headline for Dan's most recent Wall Street Journal advice column: "Stop Making Small Talk. No One Will Miss It." Here was … Continue reading Best. News. Ever? Dan Ariely Says to “Stop Making Small Talk”

Five Tips for Sharpening Your (Rusty) Communication Skills

After more than 15 months of isolation, people are starting to become more social. However, there is a chance you've become a bit rusty at exactly how to do so. Much like a runner who takes off 15 months, you may need to start slow and build up your skills before you are at least … Continue reading Five Tips for Sharpening Your (Rusty) Communication Skills

There’s a Word for What I Have: Minglephobia

Do you have minglephobia? What about pluralistic ignorance? Do you ever misestimate the hedonic trajectory of a conversation? If so, welcome to my world. And surprisingly, there's a good deal of people in this world. In a fascinating article in the HuffPost, reporter Brittany Wong takes a look at an issue that many of us … Continue reading There’s a Word for What I Have: Minglephobia

Moving Beyond Small Talk

COVID-19. The weather. The latest sports score. Those are among the go-to topics that many of us probably default to when we are in a conversation with someone. But what if you want to move beyond that, and get to know someone a bit better? Well, Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, has some suggestions, based … Continue reading Moving Beyond Small Talk

The Joy of Catching Up with a Long-Time Colleague

I've been at Villanova for 33 years, and many of my colleagues have been there even longer. I think part of the reason for the longevity of so many people is the nature of higher education, and part of the reason has to do with Villanova being a great place to work. But I have … Continue reading The Joy of Catching Up with a Long-Time Colleague