Dr. Rick Hanson on Confrontation as a Path to Well-Being - Jen Hatmaker

Dr. Rick Hanson on Confrontation as a Path to Well-Being

“Interactions often go sideways when they speed up. Simply, notice in your mind when you start accelerating and you start talking faster. You must deliberately slow down, sit back, and exhale.”

Episode 05

We’ve got another empowering episode in our Facing Your Fears series, and boy, do we have a fear that hits close to home for a lot of us – confronting those tough conversations we’d rather dance around than dive into. If the thought of confrontation has you squirming in your seat, you’re in good company. But what if we flipped the script and viewed these moments of truth-telling as acts of honor, steps towards healing and improvement?

Jen invites the insightful Dr. Rick Hanson, celebrated psychologist, acclaimed author, and speaker extraordinaire, to dissect our dread of difficult chats. Dr. Hanson is on a mission to transform confrontation into a finely honed skill that fosters lasting well-being and better relationships. His wisdom will not only challenge your perceptions but provide you with the practical tools to embrace these crucial conversations with confidence.

Don’t miss out on this transformative discussion that could redefine how you approach confrontation, making your connections healthier, and you, happier.


Episode Transcript

Hi, everybody. Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love Podcast. Welcome to the show. I just finished today’s interview and my brain’s buzzing. Such a good hour. It just evaporated for me. It was over before it started because it was so interesting and packed. We’re in a series called For the Love of Facing Your Fears. Say less. Man, this is so in my world, this is so in my wheelhouse. Because here’s something a lot of us fear. Confrontation. Anybody who knows me and heard me say that sentence is like, “Jen is not good at this.” Maybe not so much being confronted, although that’s no picnic either. But having to confront someone. I have been known to put off a confrontational conversation, even if it means ongoing discomfort. I mean years, YEARS of prolonged frustration just to avoid that conversation. How does that make any sense? That is not a way to live. So I’m wondering if we can reframe confrontation as truth-telling and remember that we honor people with our honesty and that these are steps toward repair, recovery, and improvement. Maybe, I can finally wrap my arms around those conversations and see them as necessary and beneficial and ultimately kind. 

Our guest today is phenomenal. He has spent decades gathering research and formulating practices around this idea of helping folks turn everyday experiences into what he calls “a powerful sense of lasting well-being.” I love this. Today we have Dr. Rick Hanson. He’s a psychologist and a senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. On top of that, he’s a New York Times bestselling author of seven books that have been published in 31 languages. He has given lectures at NASA, Google, Oxford Meditation Centers Worldwide, Harvard–you name it. Because that doesn’t keep him busy enough. Dr. Hanson is also the founder of the Global Compassion Coalition and the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He’s a podcast host of the Being Well Podcast–which, go give that a listen if you haven’t already. I mean, need I say another thing about his credentials? Doctor Hanson’s latest book, Making Great Relationships, came out in 2023, and that’s what we’re looking at closely today. We’re going to unpack our fear of hard conversations. 

Nobody likes tense words with their partner or their friend or their spouse or business associate—or anyone for that matter. I know that pit that we get in our stomachs when we know we need to bring up something that might be difficult to discuss. The truth is, without that honest and open communication, which he talks so interestingly about with a lot of practicalities today, our relationships will suffer–the end. And we all deserve better than that. So, Dr. Hanson’s going to walk us through today how we can not only face that fear of confrontation but deliver to develop what he calls the skills. I like this idea of confrontation being a skill that we can acquire and cultivate, not just something we have or don’t have. All of our relationships will improve because of it. I loved this conversation. We stayed on for another 10 or 15 minutes at the close of this interview and kept talking. So I know you’re going to love this one. So, Without any further ado, please enjoy this incredible discussion with the wonderful Dr. Rick Hanson.




Mother Nurture
by Dr. Rick Hanson

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD and Deepak Chopra

Making Great Relationships
by Dr. Rick Hanson


The For the Love Podcast is a production of Four Eyes Media,
presented by Audacy.

CONNECT WITH Dr. Rick Hanson
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