When It's Hard To Connect, Try Being Curious

The Science of Happiness

Dec 7 2023 • 17 mins

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When we're more curious, we are more likely to be happier and have stronger relationships. Try deepening your curiosity with these science-backed practices from author Scott Shigeoka.

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/276u4yxu

Episode summary:

As a cardiologist and immigrant in the United States, Stephanie Hsiao has always placed an emphasis on advancing her skills in order to succeed. So when she received the diagnosis that her son was neurodiverse, Stephanie went immediately into action mode to help her son — but she felt like she was missing something. For our show, Stephanie tried a practice to cultivate “deep curiosity,” and found that a curious outlook helped her to check her assumptions about parenting and discover her son’s strengths and interests. Later, we hear from curiosity expert Scott Shigeoka about the difference between shallow and deep curiosity, and how it can help us forge stronger connections with others.

Practice:

  1. Before engaging in curiosity: Slow down, focus on your breathing. Set an intention to focus on curiosity and maybe visualize yourself being curious.

  2. While in conversation: Be open to being wrong, continuously check your assumptions, and actively turn towards those who are seeking your attention.

  3. Going forward: Make commitments to yourself and with others to engage in difficult, but open-minded interactions.

Today’s guests:

Stephanie Hsiao is a mother and cardiologist based in San Francisco, California.

Scott Shigeoka is an author and storyteller who focuses on themes of curiosity and well-being.

Order Scott Shigeoka’s book Seek: How Curiosity can Transform Your Life and Save the World:https://tinyurl.com/4jrxbupj

Learn More About Scott’s work:https://tinyurl.com/y5xyxky7

Follow Scott on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3acu6jhm

Follow Scott on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3m3k3bm9

Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity: https://tinyurl.com/7kcr32su

How to Stay Open and Curious in Hard Conversations: https://tinyurl.com/y2f2e9ce

Why Curious People Have Better Relationships: https://tinyurl.com/2xw5y9yr

Does Curiosity Have a Dark Side? https://tinyurl.com/5n88wzyd

How Curiosity Can Help Us Overcome Disconnection: https://tinyurl.com/9kaas6nz

More Resources on Curiosity:

BBC - Curiosity: The neglected trait that drives success: https://tinyurl.com/38bubaak

Harvard - A Curious Mind: https://tinyurl.com/324hyzv4


TED - How Curiosity Will Save Us: https://tinyurl.com/muswe2y5

Tell us about your experience with being curious. Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

Help us share The Science of Happiness!

Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/m6aezjce

This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." To learn more, go to https://tinyurl.com/2dj6hw29

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