Join our Certificate In Leading Psychosocial Safety & Care. Click Here
Robert Biswas-Diener on Can You Get Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Can You Get Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Podcast with Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener

DELIVERED BY The Wellbeing Lab

Today’s Guest

Joining me in this week’s episode is Robert Biswas-Diener, a leading researcher on culture and wellbeing, positive psychology coaching, and author of several wonderful books including  The Upside of Your Dark Side.

With recent political changes in the United States and the UK leaving many feeling fearful and apprehensive about the future, Robert shares his insights on how to become comfortable with these uncomfortable feelings.  He suggests rather than trying to whitewash them, by accepting them, and seeing them as signals that something isn’t right, you can then decide on a constructive response to what’s unfolding.  These lessons also can apply in workplaces when looming mergers or restructures stir up similar feelings of uncertainty and fear.

Connect with Robert Biswas-Diener

You’ll Learn:

  • [01:37] – Robert talks about how emotions are like signals giving us a mental thumbs-up or thumbs-down about the quality of our life.
  • [05:35] – If you are fearful, it’s telling you that something you care about may be under threat, and you may need to protect it. 
  • [07:54] – Robert explains when you can get comfortably uncomfortable with your negative emotions, instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can act constructively.
  • [11:05] – Robert explains one important step in tolerating these emotions, is to specifically label the emotion. This can help to understand what message it may be telling you.
  • [13:54] – When people are experiencing incredible change in workplaces and feeling very negative, Robert talks about how it’s important for  leaders to build capacity in their employees.
  • [16:20] – Sometimes leaders need to challenge apprehension and other times it’s ok to validate concerns.
  • [17:49] – Robert believes happiness and wellbeing doesn’t have to be a mandate at work.
  • [20:30] –To be a whole person you need to experience and draw on the full range of positive and negative emotions.
  • [21:35] – Robert explains why “you never want cheerful optimists in the control tower, directing flight traffic.”
  • [22:18] – The Lightning Round with Robert Biswas-Diener

Your Resources:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week.  If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of this post.

Also, please leave an honest review for the Making Positive Psychology Work Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates. It’s free!

Special thanks to Robert for joining me this week. Until next time, take care!

Quick tip:You can save this post to your favorites, so you can access it quickly and easily later! Just click the “Add to Favorites” button to save it forever. You can then find it later in My Toolbox -> My Favorites.

Free Leadership Toolkit

Supercharge safety, wellbeing, and performance for your team.

Download now

Free Leaders Survey Tool

Take our free five minute survey to minimize psychosocial risks and build on psychological safety

Learn More

Wellbeing Survey For Youth

Our free PERMAH Wellbeing Survey Tool For Youth is now available.

Learn More

Wellbeing Survey For Kids

Our FREE PERMAH Survey tool for Kids under 12 is now available.

Learn More


Listen to the world’s leading positive psychology researchers and practitioners as they share their insights on our top-rated podcast.

Listen Now


Do you want to help boost people’s wellbeing, resilience & performance? Then join us for the next round of Certificate In Creating Wellbeing.

Learn More