7 TED Talks for when you’re having a hard time connecting with...

7 TED Talks for when you’re having a hard time connecting with people.

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1. The power of vulnerability– Brené Brown

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Brené Brown studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.

2. Why we all need to practice emotional first aid– Guy Winch

We’ll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don’t we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.

Guy Winch asks us to take our emotional health as seriously as we take our physical health — and explores how to heal from common heartaches.

3. 10 ways to have a better conversation– Celeste Headlee

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

Celeste Headlee’s years of interview experience give her a unique perspective on what makes for a good conversation.

4. The power of introverts– Susan Cain

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Our world prizes extroverts—but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative. She reaches millions of people through her books, podcasts and her mission-based organization, Quiet Revolution, which empowers introverts for the benefit of everyone.

5. Wisdom from great writers on every year of life– Joshua Prager

As different as we humans are from one another, we all age along the same great sequence, and the shared patterns of our lives pass into the pages of the books we love. In this moving talk, journalist Joshua Prager explores the stages of life through quotations from Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, William Trevor and other great writers, set to visualizations by graphic designer Milton Glaser. “Books tell us who we’ve been, who we are, who we will be, too,” Prager says.

Joshua Prager’s journalism unravels historical secrets — and his own.

6. Love letters to strangers– Hannah Brencher

Hannah Brencher’s mother always wrote her letters. So when she felt herself bottom into depression after college, she did what felt natural — she wrote love letters and left them for strangers to find. The act has become a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, which rushes handwritten letters to those in need of a boost.

Hannah Brencher believes in the power of pen and paper, and has started a global initiative that encourages strangers to exchange love letters.

7. Embracing otherness, embracing myself– Thandie Newton

Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk, fresh from stage at TEDGlobal 2011.

Swinging from Hollywood blockbusters to sensitive indie films, Thandie Newton brings thoughtfulness and delicate beauty to her work.

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