Ep 101. James Pawelski and Suzann Pileggi Pawelski: Happy Together
“We turned to ancient wisdom and positive psychology to learn how to be happy together in the long run.”
Professor James Pawelski and his wife Suzann Pileggi Pawelski are co-authors of Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts. James is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-founded the world's first Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program with Martin Seligman in 2005. In collaboration with Penn’s Campaign for Wellness, he is launching a new interdisciplinary undergraduate course called “The Pursuit of Happiness” to help students learn how to increase their well-being. Suzie is a freelance writer and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on health and relationships. Her 2010 Scientific American Mind cover story, "The Happy Couple," was selected for inclusion in three special issues of the magazine and became the catalyst their book! Together, Suzie and James give Romance and Research™ workshops around the world. She pens a popular blog for Psychology Today and writes the “Science of Well-being” column for Live Happy, where she is also a contributing editor.
James and Suzie sit down with Stew in the studio and talk about how to make relationships last by focusing on one’s own strengths and one’s partners’ strengths. They use the free online VIA survey of character strengths which enables you to recognize your five signature strengths -- attributes such as leadership, love of learning, curiosity, zestfulness, and kindness. James and Suzie explore the importance of focusing on the good in ourselves and others to cultivate relationships that are more than merely utilitarian or pleasurable. And they emphasize the necessity of continual conversations and the importance of remaining curious so we can complement and not complete each other, so we remain individuals who want to be together. Their website -- buildhappytogether.com offers lots of resources to explore further.