Podcast 220: Why We Should Deal with Something Negative Right Away, an Airport Hack, and Examples of the Four Tendencies in Fiction and Life.


In response to my demerit in episode 215 about forgetting to use “Delay Delivery” so that I’m not bombarding people with email over the weekends and holidays, several people suggested putting a line in my signature of my email: “I like to work at odd hours, but please don’t feel obliged to respond outside of usual work hours.”

…but do people actually look at signatures? Elizabeth says she does.

This suggestion is a great example of “Put a Band-aid on it” from episode 204—that is, look for the quick, easy cure and don’t try to solve the underlying problem.

In other news, Mother’s Day is coming up soon. If you need a gift for a mother in your life that’s quick, easy, free, and yet very valuable, give the Gift of a Podcast! And my books also make good gifts.

If you’re looking for a mother-daughter adventure, the Happier live shows are coming up! This would make a great gift. Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, we’re coming your way! Though Minneapolis is sold out. Visit staging.gretchenrubin.com/events for ticket links and details.

Try This at Home

Deal with anything negative right away, even if you feel like putting it off, so that it stops bringing you down. Though of course you don’t want to respond impulsively or when you aren’t in a constructive frame of mind.

Happiness Hack

When flying, use an electronic boarding pass, not paper. It took me a long time to make the switch, but it really is a better method.

Four Tendencies Tip

An Obliger listener asks for examples of the Four Tendencies in life or in fiction—especially examples of Obligers. Need to figure out whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Take the quick, free Four Tendencies quiz here. If you want to read my post about the wonderful novel The Remains of the Day, and why Obliger-rebellion can be an important safeguard in life, it’s here. I quote from Sigrid Nunez’s memoir about Susan Sontag, Sempre Susan.

Listener Question

A listener asks about how to create a positive relationship with social media.

Elizabeth’s Demerit

She didn’t properly prepare for the last season for Game of Thrones. When we bring more to something, we get more out of something.

Gretchen’s Gold Star

I give a gold star to the Plaza shopping district in our hometown of Kansas City, for maintaining the same giant Easter Bunny statues for all these years. Elizabeth and I forgot that we remembered them—and seeing these statues made us so happy!  Gretchen and Elizabeth 


  1. If you’re looking for an easy but personal gift idea, consider the gift of a podcast! Print out a certificate you can customize and give to a loved one at giftofpodcast.com.
  2. Remember, we want to see you on our podcast live tour in Milwaukee and Detroit! Visit staging.gretchenrubin.com/events for ticket links and details.
Join the conversation! I do a live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.” You can check the schedule.




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