Finding Yourself in Difficult Conversations?


Why do so many difficult conversations happen over a school break, a holiday meal, or at an important family event? How can we better prepare ourselves, and start managing our expectations? This episode explores:

  • Ways we can navigate difficult* conversations.
  • Why we can stop trying to have the right answer.
  • Questions to ask ourselves as we set our intentions and our boundaries.
  • How to offer a heads up in advance of divulging surprising news.
  • The importance of chosen families, and of friendship gatherings.
  • Tips for helping others and ourselves, even when things go wrong.

*This episode is not applicable for abusive situations.

Our guest is: Lindsay Geist, who holds an MDiv and MSW, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She completed her graduate work at Duke Divinity School and UNC-Chapel Hill (according to Lindsay: “yes, you can go to two rival schools at the same long as you don’t mention it during basketball season!”). She runs her own private practice; and leads trainings on mental health, addressing anxiety, and soul care. Lindsay also co-hosts the podcast, “Not Alone: Conversations on Faith and Mental Health.”

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.

Listeners to this episode may also be interested in:

Welcome to The Academic Life! On the Academic Life channel we are inspired and informed by today’s knowledge-producers, working inside and outside the academy. Find us on Twitter: @AcademicLifeNBN.

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Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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