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Todd Kashdan
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A recognized authority on well-being and social relationships, Dr. Todd Kashdan has published more than 150 scholarly articles and is the author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life and his latest book, The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why being your whole self - not just your “good” self - drives success and fulfillment .

His research has been featured in several media outlets, including the New York Times and The Washington Post. He's a twin and has twin 7-year old daughters, with plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists. He says the things other people want to but are afraid to.

Discover more about his work and speaking engagements .

Entries by Todd Kashdan

What Do Emotional and Social Agility Have to Do With Creativity?

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2014 | 3:41 PM

I attended a two-hour creativity workshop in 2011 where the workshop leader spoke about the various stages of creativity. He asked the audience to blurt out words related to their experience when working alone and generating new ideas. They yelled, "excitement," "intrigue," "joy," even "love." Basically, it is pleasurable to...

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4 Strategies to Handle Criticism Well

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 12:23 PM

I have been publishing journal articles in the field of psychology for over 15 years. Despite publishing over 150, I would guess that my submissions have been rejected about 70 percent of the time. What that means is that I have consumed vast quantities of whiskey and picked myself up...

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3 Ways to Find Forgiveness

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 6:34 PM

For Japanese macaque monkeys, status is important. If a high-status macaque bites a low-status macaque, the low-status monkey will not attack back. The risk is too great. But stick around and you might observe something interesting. Every once in awhile, one of those bullied, low-status macaques finds a weaker relative...

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Are You Really an Introvert? Extrovert?

(25) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 9:22 AM

It is very hip to label yourself an introvert. Part of this is due to the well-researched, profound, well-written treatise by Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. If you haven't read it, you are in for a treat (and for...

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3 Tips to Become an Exceptional Public Speaker

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 1:25 PM

In November, 2012, I spoke at TEDxUtrecht. I am not going to belabor the anxiety and exhilaration felt, the camaraderie among such a diverse group of thinkers (or how because its Amsterdam, the after party was a hallucinogenic delight). Instead, amidst all of the congratulatory emails was this...

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Why Do People Develop Anxiety and Depression Problems?

(13) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 12:57 PM

My mother was a beautiful woman -- homecoming queen in high school. But when she was older, breast cancer left several scars, only a few that you could physically see. When my twin brother and I were 9 months old, she had a mastectomy. Three months later, my father divorced...

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Wear a Costume the Other 364 Days Per Year

(1) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 1:33 PM

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One day per year, you and your neighbors turn into courageous creatures devoid of any semblance of self-consciousness. This year, you might have donned a super hero cape, let fake blood ooze out of your doctor scrubs, or danced in a leopard outfit...

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How Will You Teach Your Child Morality Without Religion?

(3) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 5:01 PM

There is something about raising a child that gives people freedom to invade your space. This weekend, returning from Montauk beach, we stopped at a Greek restaurant to nab grilled lamb chops in tzatziki sauce (fast food roadstops don't cut it). My wife Sarah was breastfeeding our 6-week old at...

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Is Parenthood Linked to Greater Joy and Meaning or Misery? Science Speaks

(2) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 7:48 PM

Excerpt from an unprompted conversation with my kids as I put them down to bed the other night:

Raven (5 years old): Dad, we love you, even if you yell at us. Even if you rip out our eyeballs, we still love you.

Chloe (5 years old): Are you going...

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What Qualities Make a Successful Teacher?

(4) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 12:22 PM

Think about teachers that changed your life. What did they do differently than the rest?

When I was 8 years old, I had a crush on Ms. Cafarella. Whoever did the best on her exam was invited to her house to play soccer in her yard, eat dinner, and then...

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Explained: Why Men Have a Harder Time Making Friends

(41) Comments | Posted October 28, 2011 | 2:54 AM

In my college course on the science of well-being, I devote at least three classes to what psychologists have learned about nourishing healthy relationships. Ask school children who their friends are and many list last names close to them in the alphabet. Why? Because most friendships are determined by seating...

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Understanding Rejection's Psychological Sting

(25) Comments | Posted September 16, 2011 | 9:33 AM

Some people think that scientists research their unresolved personal issues. Well, I study rejection and social anxiety, and like everyone else on the planet, I have experienced my share of both.

My first kiss was at age 7 with an older cousin. In the garage, she casually played rocket man...

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4 Ways to Be Creative By Dissecting the World's Greatest Maverick Scientist

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 9:52 AM

Since the embarrassment is long gone, let me tell you something about myself ...

As an adult, I never read a book for pleasure until the summer before my senior year of college. Resting shirtless on the roof of my house, I starting reading "The Scientist" by John...

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3 Ideas to Prevent Killing Creativity, Curiosity, and Critical Thinking in Kids

(3) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 4:39 PM

As a kid, I grew up in an area on Long Island where the bodega across the street was off-limits, too dangerous for travel. My 6-year-old rebellious mind didn't crave midnight motorcycle rides while swigging a bottle of jagermeister. Standing across the street with my twin brother, I could smell...

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Confronting Death with an Open, Mindful Attitude

(91) Comments | Posted March 2, 2011 | 8:44 AM

For three straight months, with the kids asleep, my wife and I snuck downstairs to watch at least one episode of "Six Feet Under." From 2001-2005, "Six Feet Under" was the first show to delve into the muddy, painful issues surrounding death. In the very first scene of the pilot,...

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What Is the Best Measure of Health?

(7) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 10:47 AM

A decade ago, my wife worked as a research assistant for a researcher studying obesity. The research team met once a week to brainstorm ideas. They were planning a study to test the urban myth that the average college student puts on 15 pounds during their first year away from...

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When Gratitude, Death, and Romance Collide on Thanksgiving

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 1:18 PM

After a long bout of cancer, my mother died on Thanksgiving in 1987. I had just turned 13 years old. I don't recall many details before or during this time period. I remember being brought to the hospital only to be told that my mother refused to see me; she...

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Three Clues That CEOs or Politicans Are Lying to You

(12) Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 10:20 PM

Living with your grandmother is a recipe for miscommunication. On a random Tuesday, when I was 15, a plan was being hatched to meet up with a few friends at the local 7-11 convenience store to eat a few hot dogs. Unbeknownst to me, my grandma was outside my room...

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The Problem with Happiness

(15) Comments | Posted September 30, 2010 | 1:40 PM

Asked what is the fundamental objective of life, the vast majority of people answer quickly and definitively -- happiness. Their lives are organized around trying to be happy. Sounds good, right? Sounds even better when you read about the scientific benefits linked to happiness. Compared to less happy people...

  • Happy...
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Why Are We Afraid of Having Regrets?

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2010 | 8:00 PM

When I give seminars at colleges and corporations, I ask if anyone is living a life without regrets. If so, I ask them to raise their hand. More than 8 out of 10 people look me in the eye and with great pride, shoot their hands into the air. 80%...

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