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The Life-Changing Conversation That’s Just Around The Corner

Updated: 3 days ago

The Life-Changing Conversation That’s Just Around The Corner

Psychology Today

Editor’s Note

THESE PAGES SHOWCASE how deeply people can connect with one another in the most ephemeral encounters.

Uber driver Jonathan Rigsby couldn't afford therapy after his divorce, but talking to his riders proved surprisingly cathartic

(2-Minute Memoir). On a bus ride in Cuba, Alua Arthur sat next to a young woman living with cancer whose friends and

family refused to engage with her on the possibility of her impending death. This conversation inspired Arthur to become a death doula (One Question).

Therapists are accustomed to intense conversations. They know how to seed them, prolong them, and coax them out of silence. These insights and more are shared in "The Best Advice I Ever Got as a Therapist."

Ironically, when it comes to the people we love most, the friction of everyday life— who left the toothpaste like that?!-can chip away at the possibility of transformative exchanges. This quickly became clear when, for our cover story on everyday triggers, we canvassed for behaviors that people find grating. Turns out we're extra irritated by partners and parents.

Admittedly, in "A Unique Bond," we also found, and explored, special ties that sometimes exist between two members of a family. But the singularity of these bonds underscores the norm-families are full of tension, even among people who love one another profoundly.

I'm channeling the advice of Elizabeth Heaney,

generated for therapists but applicable to everyone: Think of every exchange as potentially the last opportunity to make a difference in that person's life. It's easy to forget when you're banging on the bathroom door insisting it's your turn to take a shower. But as we learn in these days, the possibility of a life-altering conversation could be mere steps away.


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