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David Kessler: How to find meaning after loss | TED

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. You may be familiar with the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. After decades of research and his own experience with tragic loss, grief expert David Kessler ventured beyond that classic framework and sought a…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

You may be familiar with the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. After decades of research and his own experience with tragic loss, grief expert David Kessler ventured beyond that classic framework and sought a sixth, crucial stage: meaning. He shares practical wisdom and strategies for anyone seeking to honor a loved one’s memory and move through life in light of personal loss. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED’s “How to Deal with Difficult Feelings” series.)

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

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Transcriber:

Cloe Sasha Brooks: Hello, TED Community.

You are watching a TED interview series

called How to Deal
with Difficult Feelings.

I’m your host, Cloe Shasha Brooks,
and a curator at TED.

In this four-episode series,
we’ve been talking with psychologists,

authors and other experts

who have shared insights and research
about difficult feelings

and how we can handle them.

So now I will be speaking
with David Kessler,

an author who has written six books
on grief and loss.

Two of those books were co-authored
with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,

a Swiss American psychiatrist
who was a pioneer in near-death studies.

And his most recent book,
published last year,

is called “Finding Meaning:
The Sixth Stage of Grief.”

So let’s bring David on screen.

Hey, David, thank you for joining us.

Let’s dive right in.

So many people are struggling
with grief right now

and the five stages of grief
are kind of typically known to be denial,

anger, bargaining,
depression and acceptance.

But can you tell us
about the sixth stage of grief?

David Kessler: Absolutely.

And I always like to point out

I was honored to work
with Kübler-Ross on her stages.

They’re not linear,

they’re not a map for grief,
there’s no one right way to do grief.

And I think as people experience them,

and also, as you know,
and some people may know,

I’m not only a grief specialist,
but I’m a bereaved parent.

I had a younger son, David,
die a few years ago.

Once I and so many people
experience acceptance,

we want more.

Acceptance isn’t enough
for our generation.

I think we want meaning.

And I believe meaning is the sixth stage.

And when we talk about meaning,

I always like to point out
there’s no meaning in a horrible death

or in a pandemic

or in a wedding being canceled
or a job being lost.

The meaning isn’t in the horrible event.

The meaning is in us.

It’s what we find afterwards.

CSB: I mean, I just think that’s
such a helpful perspective

for people to hold on to.

And I also really appreciate, you know,

you’ve written about these seven
different factors

that guide the concept of meaning
when it comes to grief.

Can you tell us
about those seven factors?

DK: They are, first,
meaning is relative and personal.

Two, meaning takes time.

You may not find it until months
or even years after loss

because you can’t rush the meaning.

You can’t say someone died
or a dream died or there’s a pandemic,

“What’s the meaning?” right away,
it often takes time.

And three, meaning
doesn’t require understanding.

You know, we may not understand
why a relationship ends,

why a divorce happens,

why a pet died, why a pandemic happens.

But we can still find meaning.

And four, even when you do find meaning,
you won’t feel it was worth the cost.

We’d always rather have
the person we loved.

And the fifth one —
and the fifth is a big one —

your loss is not a test,
a lesson, something to handle,

a gift or a blessing.

Loss is simply what happens in life.

And the meaning is in us afterwards.

And six, only you can find your meaning.

And seven,

meaningful connections can replace
those painful memories in time.

The post-traumatic stress
that’s going on in the pandemic,

I always remind people,
one, we’re not post,

and two, we can also
not just go through this,

but grow through this.

And there’s the possibility
of post-traumatic growth also

that I think is so important
during these tough times.

CSB: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Let’s bring up a question
from our audience.

OK, so someone asked,

“Having lost a daughter,

how do I explain my grieving process
to those who don’t understand

but want to?”

DK: You know, the reality is,

people often, as hard as they try,

may not understand our grief.

You know, I don’t know what it’s like
for you to lose your job,

you don’t know what it’s like
for me to have a child die.

And I think one of the important things
is for us not to compare griefs

and to know the world is big enough
for all our losses.

So I think sometimes we have to let go
of the expectation that they get it.

And we have to go,
“I know you can’t get it.

So let me tell you
what this grief feels like to me.”

And share our grief.

CSB: Yeah. And you, kind of,
have talked a lot about that,

how there’s big losses and little losses,

but they’re all valid, right?

And they all get to coexist.

DK: I remember that I was walking back
in April, in front of my house

with a friend, six feet apart
with our masks on.

And a young woman walked up to me
and said, “Oh, my gosh,” you know,

“I heard you do something in grief.

My wedding’s just been postponed.”

And she burst into tears.

And I talked to her, we —

You know, she shared her experience
and everything, and I consoled her.

And after she walked away,
my friend said, “Oh, my gosh,

I can’t believe she was going
on and on about her wedding,

when your child has died.

She’s going to get to have
another wedding.”

And I said, “No, no, no,
we don’t compare in grief.

We don’t have a broken head,
we have a broken heart.”

And everyone gets to have
their own unique grief.

And, you know, she’s been dreaming
about her wedding since she was five.

It doesn’t take away from my grief.

All these losses
live in the world together.

CSB: Let’s bring another question
from the audience.

Someone is asking, “Can you tell us
more about post-traumatic growth?

How can I start to grow from a loss?”

DK: It’s such a great question,

because we always hear
about post-traumatic stress,

But post-traumatic growth
actually occurs more.

And that is the finding meaning.

Here’s one of the myths:

We think we make our grief get smaller,
that that’s the goal.

The goal isn’t to make our grief smaller.

The goal is for us to become bigger,
to grow around this grief.

It’s not “what are we going to do
after this pandemic,”

but “who are we going to be?”

It’s not, “what are we going to do
after this loss?”

But “Who are we going to be?”

How can we honor the person who died?

How can we make a life and a world
that’s more meaningful,

where maybe the bad thing
that happened to you

doesn’t happen to other
people in the future.

Or you shape someone’s legacy.

Or we keep talking about them.

As long as we talk about our loved ones
who are no longer physically with us,

they don’t really die fully.

So just allowing ourselves
to continue in life

is a bit of post-traumatic growth
and not shutting down.

And we need support.

You know, it’s interesting,
if something’s going on with our car,

we get support.

If something’s going on
with our apartment,

we get support.

Sometimes we think we just have to fight
our way through grief

and it’s OK to ask
for support and for help.

CSB: It’s so important to remember that.

When it’s not tangible
we forget how to ask for help.

Along those lines,

do you believe there’s
a time line for grief?

DK: Absolutely not.

You know, when people ask me,

“How long is my wife, my husband,
my best friend going to grieve,”

I always say, “How long
is the person going to be dead?

Because if they’re going
to be dead for a long time,

you’re going to grieve for a long time.”

It doesn’t mean you will always
grieve with pain.

Hopefully in time you can grieve
with more love than pain.

But there is no time line,

and I always say we don’t get over loss.

We don’t recover from loss.

Our loved one was not a cold or a flu.

We learn to live with it.

CSB: And for those who are maybe ready
to start on the path of meaning

as they move through their grief,

how does one start that process?

DK: It’s actually a decision.

Are you willing to find meaning in time?

Are you willing to let yourself
just live a little more?

Are you willing to try to think of a way

that might honor
what’s happened in our world

or what’s happened
in the loss in your life?

It’s a small decision.

Am I willing to grow?

Am I willing to live past this
in a way that honors what I’ve lost?

CSB: Let’s bring up another question
from the audience.

“How can we help our children
when they experience grief?”

DK: Such a good question.

You know, our children
are often the forgotten grievers,

And it’s so important —

Here’s one of the things:

Mourning is what we do on the outside.

Grief is what’s inside of us.

I can’t make you grieve.

I can’t make my kids grieve.

All we can do is model healthy grief.

And how do we model
healthy grief for our children?

We tell them part of our work
is to grieve fully.

It’s OK to be sad.

It’s OK to miss that person.

And to live fully.

Life also has to go on.

I’ve still got to go to work,
you still got to go to school.

So it’s the grieving and the living
is what we model for them.

CSB: And it’s so hard to with kids

because it seems like, in some ways,

they may not even know
what they’re feeling, right?

So, like, how much of grief with children

involves helping them
understand definitions

or even identifying feelings and all that?

DK: Yeah, and to just name it
and open the conversation

and just to let them know,

you know, you can always
talk about it with me.

You know, kids actually understand more
than we give them credit for.

CSB: That is true.

DK: And euphemisms don’t work.

Don’t tell them Grandpa’s gone to sleep
or Grandpa’s on a long trip.

You want to be honest.

CSB: So, OK, here we are in a new time.

We’re starting to come
out of this pandemic,

at least in some countries in the world.

How do you think
our collective grief might shift

in the next few months to years from here?

DK: Well, the one thing
I hope we don’t do is

I hope we don’t lose this ability
to have these conversations,

because that’s been one
of the pieces of meaning

that’s been important,

is for the first time we’re naming
these feelings we’re having.

We’re understanding grief,
we’re talking more about grief.

And I hope we don’t lose that after this.

I hope we understand grief
is such a natural part of life,

that everyone you’ve ever admired,

every amazing person in the world,
has gone through tough grief.

And there’s nothing wrong with you
when it happens to you.

It is part of our lives.

CSB: Yeah.

We’re coming close to the end,

so just as a final question
for you, you know,

if someone is really struggling through
the depths of their grief right now,

what’s just the most important thing
for them to remember?

DK: Reach out and get support,
talk to someone,

maybe someone who’s been
in grief themselves

that can share that with you.

It can be the family member, the coworker

and get support from an organization,

grief.com, as well as so many other sites,

have lots of free resources
that people can find.

And I also want to remind people,

we get so afraid of our feelings,

like if I start crying, I’ll never stop.

I remind people no feeling is final,
no feeling is forever.

You do stop crying eventually,

but release those feelings
in a healthy way.

CSB: Yeah, that’s really helpful.

I think that’s one of the things
that growing up has shown me the most,

is you know, any emotion is not permanent.

And so that’s a source of relief, right?

DK: And we get so stuck
in thinking “This is it forever.”

But we don’t know what tomorrow
is going to look like.

I always say take the word — always —

I say take the word “always” and “never”
out of our vocabulary.

When we go, “I’m always going to be sad,”

or “I’m never going to be happy again.”

No, you don’t know what tomorrow is like,

but today you’re feeling sad.

Just name your feelings for today.

CSB: Yeah.

Thank you, David, this has been
really, really meaningful,

and we’ve learned so much from you.

So thanks for joining us.

DK: Thank you.

CSB: Have a great day.

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84 Comments

84 Comments

  1. Nisha Bhattarai RN 56

    September 1, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Early

  2. Singer A to z

    September 1, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Ted is very good talking chanal

  3. zoze al bani

    September 1, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    All the best ❤️♥️

  4. ANY Rank

    September 1, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    great 👍👍

  5. Sarah Hall

    September 1, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    I cant stop crying. I do have ” Broken Heart Syndrome”. I am in so much pain. Im trying to incorporate my Horrible Grief into my Life….

    • M SC

      September 1, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      I would like to honour your tremendous effort

  6. Sarah Hall

    September 1, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    David, I’m crying for your loss. You are a kind man. So kind you remind me of Mr. Rodgers.. I wish I was as strong as you…

  7. True Crime Queen TV

    September 1, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Love your content!!! Stay safe everyone ❤️ ❤️

  8. Mr7Reality

    September 1, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    The five stages of grief
    1. Denial
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance
    The final stage being expressed here
    6. Meaning
    The final stage to me
    7. Unhealthy amount of self hatred, loathing, and guilt

    • shorgoth

      September 1, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      undue shame… it gnawed at me for decades, it was a symptom of my complex PTSD. It usually happens when you have unresolved issues in your grief, when something is not resolved. You probably need to face those emotions again with cognition, reevaluate the trauma and what surounds it. That undue shame is usually cognitive dissonance when we missattribute events unconsciously to ourselves in an irrational manner. The exploration of that grief to reattribute the cause and effects correctly and re going through grief to do it correctly this time is key. When it is linked to someone’s death we call it survivor’s guilt. Now, you might have made a real mistake and it gnaws at you… don’t know, too little information. If it is so then you have to find forgivness for yourself. Most of the time it means accepting that yes we made a mistake but also admitting of the circumstances surounding our own actions. If you really really really fucked up, then I’m not sure what to do except expressing contrition and learning from that mistake openly.

    • Henry Chang

      September 1, 2021 at 6:32 pm

      I’m not an expert, but I found an article on Healthline titled ‘How to Stop Feeling Guilty’. I hope that will help you in some way. I tried to comment with the link, but it keeps disappearing.

  9. M SC

    September 1, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    This was very validating ty

  10. Hehe Chen

    September 1, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    I like psychology, and this video is most useful for me.

    • Terri Quinn

      September 1, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      I love psychology. I would LOVE to get my psychology degree but I don’t believe I have the strength to use it efficiently.

  11. Goof Love

    September 1, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you so much for enlightening us with such great wisdom

  12. Nathan Walker

    September 1, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you David, i found this very informative!!

  13. Goof Love

    September 1, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks a lot to Sasha Brooks for bringing up such a difficult issue

  14. Serendipity

    September 1, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I would have liked David to talk about overcoming ones “guilt”.
    After the loss of my beloved son Jerett, my husband asked me if he should hold the meds I happened to be taking at the time, giving them to me as prescribed. We both knew what he was trying to say.
    I don’t remember it, but husband said when he and I were standing at Jerett’s casket, I was crying and kept saying, “Why didn’t he take me with him… he should have taken me with him.” It’s been 3 yrs, I still have not stopped crying. I think my guilt (imagined or real) keeps me from peace.

    • Henry Chang

      September 1, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      Did you mean you’re guilty because you said those things?

    • Serendipity

      September 1, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      @Henry Chang …. My guilt lies with him taking his own life.

    • Henry Chang

      September 1, 2021 at 6:28 pm

      @Serendipity I’m sorry that I failed to understand it. And I’m sorry for your loss. I’m not an expert, but I found an article on Healthline titled ‘How to Stop Feeling Guilty’; I hope that will help you in some way. I tried to post this comment with the link several times, but it keeps disappearing.

    • Sylvia

      September 1, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      I’m so sorry about what you are going through. If you are willing, you can try to find a hypnotherapist to help you. I’m a hypnotherapist myself so I know how hypnotherapy can help with freeing us from deeply stuck feelings. Sending you lots of love and may you find inner peace. 🤍

  15. Subiya Amreen

    September 1, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful, Thanks Ted for this ❤️

  16. JamesAutoDude

    September 1, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    After like 20 years, I don’t think it’s possible. But I’ll try…

    • Vernesha Esquer

      September 1, 2021 at 9:58 pm

      I’m in the same boat.

    • JamesAutoDude

      September 1, 2021 at 10:20 pm

      @Vernesha Esquer really? I’m so sorry 😔

  17. Shea Floyd

    September 1, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    I just lost my mother last Saturday. I’ve been taking care of her for the past 8 years, so finding this was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much & I’m terribly sorry for the loss of your son

    • SuperOTAKO

      September 1, 2021 at 7:25 pm

      Im sorry for your loss floyd … you are a good son and these 8 years spent taking care of your mother will bring you peace in this life and afterlife…

    • Amie V.

      September 1, 2021 at 8:13 pm

      I am so sorry for the loss of your mom, Shea. I totally understand. I loss my brother (45) a year after I loss my mom (65). My dad out lived them over a decade and then he finally joint them. It still feels like just yesterday. You will always going to remember your mom and your loved ones that have passed on. There are times I’m still sad and missing them so much. It seems like I never stop grieving. Know that we are here with you, and also know that your mom is looking from heaven smiling at you and still a proud mom.

    • Shea Floyd

      September 2, 2021 at 12:39 am

      @SuperOTAKO thank you so much for the kind words. It truly means a lot to me. I hope you have/had an incredible day!

    • Shea Floyd

      September 2, 2021 at 12:43 am

      @Amie V. thank you for sharing your story! That is alot to endure in a very short period of time. Hearing this gives me comfort & lets me know I’m not alone . After all, I do have some amazing people around to lend support, whether it be family or a few great people on the internet. Thanks again and have a fantastic day!

    • Pinned by TED

      September 2, 2021 at 9:42 am

      So sorry for that

    • Nathan Walker

      September 2, 2021 at 11:10 am

      @Shea Floyd Hi Shea, im so sorry to hear of your loss . Just know your an awesome son for taking care of your mum. Remember all the good memories you made together. My thoughts are with you and family at this time. Peace ✌

  18. Sylvia

    September 1, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you David, for sharing these amazing insights.

  19. Bradley Clutton

    September 1, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Needed this, I’ve been given up the last year , really don’t care if i live or not. I need to start somewhere hopefully it’s this video

  20. Chi Chi

    September 1, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    This host is emotionless. I can’t ….

  21. CoffeePoints

    September 1, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Me: I am the Senate.
    Also me: Not. Yet.
    Possibly me?: It’s treason then.

  22. Lisa Love Ministries

    September 2, 2021 at 12:08 am

    Proverbs 3:5-6 👑
    Proverbs 8:17 💝
    Proverbs 9:10 🙏

  23. Elena Yee

    September 2, 2021 at 12:20 am

    My mom died 10 years ago this past April and still miss her especially when I look at photos or have dreams that simply show up. There is no such thing is closure, not really.

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  24. R D

    September 2, 2021 at 2:14 am

    Thank you David. I am very sorry for the loss of your son.

  25. Ksvjnr

    September 2, 2021 at 3:58 am

    So true every word you said my God. I had a preterm baby 7 years ago who lived with us in the nicu for 81 days… my 4th child. So handling grief was all I was doing not just for myself but my kids and family too… I found meaning in it thru numerology that I’ve studied and was able to move through it… thank you. It all suddenly makes sense. I hope we can all find meaning in our lives again thru our loss! Amen.

  26. Irene Dymond

    September 2, 2021 at 6:48 am

    Perfect timing, I lost another friend yesterday, they leave such a hole in my life. I am trying to focus on what I had rather than what I have lost

  27. Animated Motion Graphics 4K

    September 2, 2021 at 7:41 am

    Oh Hi,
    Whoever is reading this, I just want to let you know that these past 2 years has not been great for everyone with the pandemic, so I just wanted to say, that I believe in you! Keep chasing your dreams!! No doubts here ^) Best wishes for you ❤️ from a small YouTuber

    – Please don’t hate if you see my comments on other videos, I am just trying to Spread some love and encouragement!! 🙂

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  28. Aerodyll UK

    September 2, 2021 at 8:42 am

    I lost my job 7 years ago. It took me 10 years to get it, I had it 2 years then the company went bust and I was left in a recession with nothing. It has taken me 6 years to get over that loss, and 1 year to figure out what to do with my life now.
    I felt silly all this time having my life turned upside down because of a job, but it really hit me that hard.

    Compared to those who suffered real loss I feel like a joke, yet at the same time I have to admit, I spent the last 6 years feeling lost and hopeless every day. It took me to the edge of suicide and through therapy I felt a bit better.

    • Cee Jay

      September 4, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      Heyyyyyy… loss is loss… don’t judge that by saying those who suffered “real loss”…your job WAS a real loss. I’m glad you’re still here to share💜💜💜🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

    • EMS 76

      September 6, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      I can relate to your story more than any others I’ve heard. I invested my life in the pursuit of an incredibly challenging career. It took four degrees, endless sacrifice, a fair amount of debt, and despite all the obstacles I made it …. nearly. With one final hurdle to jump to permanent job and financial security, I collapsed in a nervous breakdown. I lost the job Then my parents got sick. I moved in with them. Then the pandemic hit. Old friendships started to fade. Then my sister was struck with stage four cancer.

      And here I am, now, trying to decide what to do with my life and career.

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  30. Denise deMello

    September 2, 2021 at 9:34 am

    The moderator needs to take serious lessons on how to conduct a Q n A show. She’s inexperienced and it clearly shows. No disrespect meant.

  31. Brian Spiegel

    September 2, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I’m a therapist and often listen to other professionals. This man’s lecture was awesome. Thank you sir. Very valuable information.

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  32. AliceAndTheQueen

    September 2, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    -Through Covid I became a first time mum
    – My family did not see me pregnant because we live interstate.
    – I could no have a baby shower
    – I physically did not go baby shopping it was all online
    – my husband could not come to the ultrasound to find out the twins sex’s
    – I had to got to many appointments alone with lots of scary news
    – my husband could not spend more than two hours with me in the hospital per day, I was hospitalized a few times.
    – I spent 48 hours in quarantine from suspected coved 2 days after my babies were born, did not see my babies during that time.
    – my daughter was in the NICU for 3 months before she passed away, to spend time with her I had to give up time with her twin brother because he was not allowed in the NICU a lot of the time.
    – my family only meet my daughter the week she died this January

    I don’t know what to ask for help wise, I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m very overwhelmed with my emotions. I have just started seeing a therapist, I hope it help.

  33. R. K.

    September 2, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Lost my wife 1,5 years ago, mother of 3, age 42. Your words resonate with me.

    • Amber C

      September 2, 2021 at 5:42 pm

  34. فوزيه حداقه

    September 2, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    Info..industry…changing the way you totally think immediately.

  35. Jashan Singh

    September 2, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    I really like the way of talking of the men✌✌✌

  36. Anthony Jasi

    September 2, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Agree with David on most of what his saying but just like crime or sin, grief can’t be equal and to even suggest it is, is very unfair. Am sure, the lady whose wedding was cancelled, would prefer to have her wedding cancelled than have her fiancé die if given the option and in that, lies the difference in grief. I find being able to compare my grief with others allows me to understand how lucky, I am to be right here in this position. Wd have been worse is the expression, and whenever I compare, it’s easier for me to move on.

  37. Denver Maburutse

    September 2, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Is there a link to the full series

  38. Brooke Smith

    September 2, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Great video. Have you heard of Matthew Kelly?

  39. Prabhash

    September 3, 2021 at 2:46 am

    Thankyou so much

  40. Sheeple Slayer

    September 3, 2021 at 3:34 am

    I mean.. any situation.. of loss.. if you lose a loved one.. think about this.. would they want you to be unhappy?
    Probably not.. and, if they did.. you shouldn’t respect their advice or feel pain beyond what is already there. Compassion is rare.. true compassion, I mean.
    Live your life for you, but… try to do good and sometimes.. the best way to help.. is not to help..

  41. GI ***

    September 3, 2021 at 10:50 am

    You should invite Teal Swan. Regulary. 👉💎

    • Pinned by TED

      September 3, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for your comments,I will introduce you to something totally different and quiet profitable in Crypto today ±•¹•⁷•¹•⁹•⁶•²•⁷•⁹•⁶•⁸•²

    • Pinned by TED

      September 3, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for your comments,I will introduce you to something totally different and quiet profitable in Crypto today ±•¹•⁷•¹•⁹•⁶•²•⁷•⁹•⁶•⁸•²

  42. Sandra Noworul

    September 3, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this powerful & timely wisdom. Have you heard of Matthew Kelly’s book Life is Messy?

  43. Hafsa Mohamad

    September 4, 2021 at 1:42 am

    Thanks David
    Awesome support and words

  44. Arabella Younge

    September 4, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    “We dont compare grief , we dont have a broken head we have a broken heart” 💔 I really wish people would be more sensitive of the things they say to people that are hurting and going through stuff we know nothing about we are all experiencing some sort of Pain, Be kind.

    • Pinned by TED

      September 5, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Thanks for watching, more
      guidance & to invest in Crypto
      °°one°°°seven°°one°°°nine°°six°°°two°° seven°°°nine°°six°°°eight°°two..

  45. bellarose

    September 4, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    “We dont compare grief , we dont have a broken head we have a broken heart” 💔 I really wish people would be more sensitive of the things they say to people that are hurting and going through stuff we know nothing about we are all experiencing some sort of Pain, Be kind.

  46. Uyên Nguyễn

    September 6, 2021 at 10:09 am

    This is the best I’ve ever seen. I’m been touch the most due to your generousity to everything, like an angle, you just look down from the heaven and be calm. I’ve learned so much! Thankyou a lot!!! So wonderful

  47. Ali Cyr

    September 7, 2021 at 12:44 am

    This reminds me of Life is Messy by Matthew Kelly, would love to see a conversation between these two

  48. Ashley Wirfel

    September 7, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Really good. This makes me think of Matthew Kelly’s book, Life Is Messy. You should do an interview with him!

  49. Muhammed Muntasir Hasan

    September 7, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    such a realistic video and we would have to face difficulties or we couldnt cope with the world after getting everything normal

  50. Altyn Park

    September 10, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this, so helpful!

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People & Blogs

Body Language Expert Breaks Down His Own Body Language | WIRED

In 2019, former FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro sat down with WIRED to break down the various ways we communicate non-verbally. Today, Joe looks back at his first appearance for WIRED and explains what his body language is communicating. Check out Joe’s book “Be Exceptional” Books By Joe Navarro: Joe Navarro Body…

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In 2019, former FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro sat down with WIRED to break down the various ways we communicate non-verbally. Today, Joe looks back at his first appearance for WIRED and explains what his body language is communicating.

Check out Joe’s book “Be Exceptional”

Books By Joe Navarro:
Joe Navarro Body Language Academy:

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Body Language Expert Breaks Down His Own Body Language | WIRED

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Tips for reclaiming your peace of mind online | Naomi Shimada

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. To post or not to post? The real question is: How do you feel about it? Author Naomi Shimada reflects on the anxiety-inducing aspects of social media, sharing advice on how to step back from the shame, optics and…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

To post or not to post? The real question is: How do you feel about it? Author Naomi Shimada reflects on the anxiety-inducing aspects of social media, sharing advice on how to step back from the shame, optics and echo chambers of the internet and untangle your self-worth from follower counts, likes and the unattainable perfectionism perpetuated online. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED’s “How to Deal with Difficult Feelings” series.)

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

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TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

Cloe Shasha Brooks: Hello, welcome.

You are watching a TED interview series

called How to Deal
with Difficult Feelings.

I’m Cloe Shasha Brooks,
your host and a curator at TED.

And today we’ll be focusing
specifically on anxiety.

So first I’ll be speaking with author
and model Naomi Shimada

about the anxiety
associated with social media.

She coauthored a book
called “Mixed Feelings:

Exploring the emotional impact
of our digital habits.”

It’s all about how the internet
has created a new layer

of perfectionist pressure on our lives

and how we can better manage
our relationship with our online worlds.

Hello, Naomi. Great to see you.

Naomi Shimada: Hello, Cloe,
great to see you, too.

I’m honored to be here.

CSB: Oh, well, thanks for joining us.

So, Naomi, you have written and spoken

about the relationship between
social media and anxiety a whole bunch,

such as the anxiety to post
online or not to post.

So can you tell us
a little bit more about that?

NS: So I always want to start by saying,
even though I have written about it,

I still don’t really feel like an expert
because this is just —

I always want to decenter
my voice as an expert

because I’m just feeling this out
like everyone else.

But in my experience,

social media and anxiety are connected,

you know, or social media
exacerbates anxious feelings.

It exacerbates the human condition.

And so things that we may have
insecurities and anxieties around,

like, you know, our relationships,
our bodies, our work,

the things that make up our sense of self,

I think the anxiety we feel

or we can feel when we use social media
can sometimes act as a marker

for things that show us
where we need to do work

or where we feel insecure.

And sometimes it’s just a message
being reflected back to us.

And also, like I said, social media
exacerbates the human condition.

You know, as humans,

I think we so often just want to be loved
and cared for and seen and adored

or just acknowledged.

So social media has also become, you know,
our main mode of communication,

our method of work.

Some of those things, those lines
can start to become very blurred.

CSB: Absolutely.

Yeah, and in addition to making lives
look shiny and perfect,

social media also seems to fuel
a lot of FOMO, or fear of missing out.

And I’m curious what you’d suggest
for people who experience

a lot of anxiety from seeing
videos and images

of other people having a ton of fun and,

you know, not knowing
how to deal with that.

NS: I think, like I said slightly earlier,

the feelings of anxiety when they come up,

like, what is that message, you know,

taking that step back and being,
like, why do I feel this way?

Why is this making me feel like this?

And kind of reading into it.

And in my personal experience,

the thing that works for me

is just taking a step back,
taking a moment,

you know, if something
is making me feel bad,

for example, if social media —

if we thought of it
as a substance, for example,

if something was making you feel bad,
what would you do about it?

Would you stop using it?

You know, I think there’s levels to this
because sometimes, you know,

we may have work now
that is so intertwined with social media

and it can’t just be like,
oh, stop using it.

And I know that there’s a spectrum.

And I’m also navigating this
constantly myself

when as a public-facing person,

my job is so intertwined with social media

and it’s something
I want to do less and less.

So I’m navigating that kind
of boundary for me all the time.

So it’s just negotiating,

sometimes it’s not as clear cut, you know,

it may for you start
as take the weekends off, or you know,

I actually personally most of the time
don’t have social media on my phone.

And just when I have to do
something for work,

that’s when I interact with it,

especially this year
that’s been so heavy, you know,

and where there is no “off” button

and every new day bringing such bad news,

like, I’m a very sensitive person,

so I have to do the things I know
that I need to take care of myself,

which is not scroll.

Also, I’ve had an injury in my hand,

which means I can’t actually scroll,

so I’m like, “This is a sign!

I’m just not supposed to be interacting
like that right now.”

So just listening and knowing

that you don’t have to fall
under the pressure.

Like, I think so often
we think that if we don’t post,

we don’t exist.

Our existence, you know —

we only exist when other people
see us existing.

Like, that, that whole line, like,

“Oh, if you didn’t post about it,
it didn’t happen.”

That concept.

We’ve started to internalize, you know,

especially my generation
of millennials, gen-Z,

like, if you didn’t post it,
it didn’t happen.

And so it’s just like going back
and being like, OK, is that true?

Why do I feel the need to share this?

And asking those questions.

And that’s what I do.

So like I said, I’m not an expert,

I too I’m working this out
and every day feels totally different.

But asking those questions
is a great place to start.

CSB: Thank you for that.

So we have a question from the audience.

Let’s bring that up.

OK, so related to this, from Facebook,

“What question should we
be asking ourselves

before we post on social media?”

NS: So I like to ask myself, like,
why do I want to share this right now?

Is this something —

as a person that has grown up
on the internet, on social media,

so often how I validated myself
and my sense of self

was posting something
and people reacting to it.

And I think that’s just
very murky territory.

I think like, you know,

why do I feel the need to share this?

Is this something that feels
also private to me?

You know, in my opinion, on whether,

and I guess, you know, I have
not the biggest social media following,

but a social media following,

that sometimes, when I’m like,
does that person, for me,

does my family member
want to be shown online, for example,

like, or is this a private moment?

I think navigating, like, do I feel
not good about myself right now

and is posting a picture
of myself looking, like, hot,

or whatever the equivalent
of looking really happy —

I think sometimes so often we post
about the things that we are yearning for,

whether that’s attention, love, craving.

And I think there’s deeper
underlying messages

behind posting sometimes, you know,

and that it is a projection of the things
that we want in our lives,

for example, posting photos of people
you want better relationships with

or, you know,

there’s a big spectrum of experience.

But for me, I just try to ask myself,

why do I feel the need
to make this public right now?

Is this something that I am proud of?

And it’s no critique.

This is really questions
that are just a gauge where I’m at

or where someone else is at with it.

Like, is this something that actually

I just need to pay attention to
in my own life privately,

of, like, this is something
I should be working on or thinking about,

or there’s just deeper
questions about context,

I think, that are important.

CSB: Yeah, yeah.

And I think as we’re now
at our final question,

which is something that I think
is related to what you’re saying

around when to post or not to post,

but from a different angle,
which is, you know,

a lot of people have anxiety
about whether or not to post

their social justice activism
on their accounts

and regardless of the activism
they might be already doing

outside of social media, right?

And some people just find it performative.

But at the same time,
there was a fear of looking apathetic

if people are not posting
about social justice on social media.

So how do you suggest
people deal with that anxiety

and think about that?

NS: I mean, that’s definitely
an anxiety of our generation, right?

Anxieties around posting
about social justice.

I think the big question here
is asking ourselves, like,

what am I doing in my own life?

You know, and again, there is a spectrum,

because there’s a lot of people

who are sharing a lot of important
information via social media.

So you have, like, organizers
and then everybody else.

But if you are —

Once again, you know,
I can’t speak for everybody,

but just I think it’s —

I read this quote
by an activist in Oregon,

a lifetime organizer
called Grace Lee Boggs,

and she said that, you know,
that a lot of times in our lives

we don’t prioritize the importance
of self-reflection and revolution.

And I think, you know,
we so care about optics.

We don’t want people to think
that we are racists, sizeist, sexist, etc.

But to not create and redo
this kind of harm in the world,

we need to understand and really reflect

on these systems that we’ve all
internalized to some effect.

So to understand, like,
where am I on the spectrum?

How do I benefit?

All of these things actually really
take time and deep, you know,

self-reflection and work.

And that kind of questioning, I think,

is something that I find it
helpful to be offline

because I’m like, otherwise,
I’m just listening

to what everybody else is saying.

Like, are these my thoughts
and my feelings

or am I just internalizing

what other people are just shouting
into the atmosphere

and into the internet?

I think, there’s moments where obviously,

a lot the uprisings in June
would not have happened

if it wasn’t for the information
that was shared

and that action, of course,
was so important.

But I think there’s different
phases, you know.

And when it’s just about shame and optics,

that’s not how we change the world.

For us to change the world,

we need to inhabit
and act on these reflections.

So I think there are again,
more questions to ask ourselves, like,

do I just not want
people to think that I do this?

And often we are in echo chamber
of the people who follow us

and people we follow, right?

So a lot of the times
we’re just sharing and shouting

into the atmosphere of people
who have the same ideals as us.

And that energy can be used
in a different way.

And also sometimes inhibits, I think,
real harder conversations from happening,

because I think social media
isn’t often an intimate enough of a space

to be able to ask each other questions
that we’re afraid to ask.

Or mistakes, it’s not favorable
to making mistakes anymore,

which is my critique and sadness
about social media.

You know, our biggest fear
is being called out for something.

But this call-out culture,
sometimes, not always,

I understand its role
and place in society,

but sometimes doesn’t allow for us

to have more engaged conversations
around these systems

that we’ve internalized.

And we all make mistakes
and we all have to learn

and sometimes it doesn’t allow
for that to happen.

CSB: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Well, I think that’s beautifully said

and we’ve come to the end
of our time here.

But I am so grateful to you
for this conversation, Naomi,

and thank you for sharing all this.

I’ll talk to you soon. Take care.

NS: Thank you, Cloe and everyone.

Much love.

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People & Blogs

Why happy couples cheat | Esther Perel

Watch the full talk: A clip from Esther Perel’s TED Talk “Rethinking infidelity … a talk for anyone who has ever loved” from TED2015 Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat and provides a new framework for understanding relationships. A must-watch for anyone…

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Watch the full talk:

A clip from Esther Perel’s TED Talk “Rethinking infidelity … a talk for anyone who has ever loved” from TED2015

Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat and provides a new framework for understanding relationships. A must-watch for anyone who has ever loved.

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

Become a TED Member:
Follow TED on Twitter:
Like TED on Facebook:
Subscribe to our channel:

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

adultery has existed since marriage was invented 
and so too the taboo against it in fact infidelity  

has a tenacity that marriage can only envy 
so much so that this is the only commandment  

that is repeated twice in the bible once for 
doing it and once just for thinking about it  

so how do we reconcile what is universally 
forbidden yet universally practiced  

how do we heal from an affair

desire runs deep betrayal runs deep but it can 
be healed and some affairs are death knells for  

relationships that were already dying on the vine 
but others will jolt us into new possibilities  

the fact is the majority of couples who have 
experienced the fair stay together but some of  

them will merely survive and others will actually 
be able to turn a crisis into an opportunity  

they’ll be able to turn this into a generative 
experience and i’m actually thinking even more  

so for the deceived partner who will often say 
you think i didn’t want more but i’m not the one  

who did it but now that the affair is exposed they 
too get to claim more and they no longer have to  

uphold the status quo that may not have 
been working for them that well either  

i’ve noticed that a lot of couples in the 
immediate aftermath of an affair because of this  

new disorder that may actually lead to a new order 
will have depths of conversations with honesty  

and openness that they haven’t had in decades 
and partners who are sexually indifferent find  

themselves suddenly so lustfully variations they 
don’t know where it’s coming from something about  

the fear of loss will rekindle desire and make 
way for an entirely new kind of truth now you’ve  

listened to me and i know what you’re thinking 
she has a french accent she must be pro-affair

so you’re wrong i am not french

and i’m not pro-affair i look at affairs from a 
dual perspective hurt and betrayal on one side  

growth and self-discovery on the other 
what it did to you and what it meant for me  

and so when a couple comes to me in the 
aftermath of an affair that has been revealed  

i will often tell them this today in 
the west most of us are gonna have  

two or three relationships or marriages and 
some of us are gonna do it with the same person  

your first marriage is over would 
you like to create a second one

together

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