Relating More Effectively with All Our Relationships with Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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Most of our joys and sorrows come from our connections with other people. So why does so much of our communication with others result in so much conflict and misunderstandings? How might we do better in giving others the love that we have in our hearts?—also—How can we get better in dealing with the unavoidable stresses and injustices of our very imperfect world? In this deep dialogue, we explore effective strategies for relating better than ever with all our relationships. Hanson says, “I have learned over the years the value of being more able to be patient with others who are aggravating while at the same time being prepared very skillfully to lay down the law, or draw a boundary, speak truth to power, or be assertive when you need to be, hopefully with a warm and open heart.” One of the foundations of being able to act skillfully with others is to slow down by deep breathing, giving us time to interrupt the emotional hijacking of the reactive brain. Also, included in this dialogue is the announcement of the newly formed, Global Compassion Coalition and how it is creating a world-wide commons in which people can come together to create a world in which people and nature are cared for and thrive. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Rick Hanson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, senior fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and a summa cum laude graduate of UCLA. He’s founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Also, the founder and president of the Global Compassion Coalition. 

Rick Hanson is the author of: 

  • Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (New Harbinger 2009)
  • Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (New Harbinger 2011)
  • Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (Harmony Books 2013)
  • Meditations to Change Your Brain - CD Set (Sounds True 2009)
  • Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength and Happiness (Harmony Books 2018)
  • NeuroDharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness (Harmony Books 2020)
  • Making Great Relationships: Simple Practices for Solving Conflicts, Building Connections, and Fostering Love (Harmony Books 2023) 

To learn more about the work of Rick Hanson Go to


Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • Why it is tricky to navigate negotiations with those closest to you
  • What are the positive physical effects of slowing down our breathing
  • How many of our conflicts are caused by taking things personally
  • What it means to be loyal to oneself, to be on one’s own side
  • What is the fundamental process of Let Be, Let Go, Let In
  • Why is it just as important to be compassionate toward ourselves as to others
  • How can we grow and be more in touch with our self-protectors and other inner allies
  • How to use positive neuroplasticity
  • What are the three reasons to avoid resisting the inner “wolf” of fear, anger, and hate
  • How can we find safety in our inner refuge, our foundational homebase, the embodied sense of being at home
  • How to tell the truth in difficult relationships with both authenticity and kindness
  • How the tone with which we are speaking makes us more effective with our words even if we are angry at someone
  • How the Global Compassion Coalition is bringing humankind back to our true nature of living in cooperation and compassion 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 4/10/2023   Program Number: 3785

Music Playlist

From Album: Calmness of Spirit
Artist: David Hoffman
2009 Lakefront Productions B002ZCY2IC

Opening Essay: Track 01 Julie’s Dream (part 1)
Music Break 1: Track 01 Julie’s Dream (part 2)
Music Break 2: Track 01 Julie’s Dream (part 3)
Music Break 3: Track 01 Julie’s Dream (part 4)