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Nate’s Notes 51: Nicholas Epley | When in Doubt Reach Out

By February 6, 2023June 8th, 2023No Comments

Nicholas Epley

Professor at the University of Chicago

Nicholas Epley | The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Nick Epley masterfully packaged two excellent lessons that I hope to better apply.

First, “When in doubt, reach out.” One of the most important determinants of happiness, well-being, and health is the quality of the connections we have with other people. However, we systematically under-appreciate how much we can benefit others, and ourselves, by being more social. As the saying goes, “When we smile the whole world smiles back at us.” And when we reach out to others, people reciprocate in kind. We’re more like magnets than marbles, and simply reaching out to others can have surprisingly positive effects, even in extreme circumstances such as the hostage situation that Nick described.

Second, “Talk don’t type.” Many of the tools we have today that allow us to easily and efficiently communicate with others are really low quality. When we talk with people, as opposed to texting or emailing them, we sound smarter, more reasonable, more rational, more human…and it’s also more rewarding psychologically. It’s harder to get any closer to another person’s mind than by hearing their voice.

In summary, “When in doubt reach out” and “Talk don’t type.” It’s a simple idea, please take it seriously. 

Nick Epley Bio:

Nick Epley is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he teaches the MBA class Designing a Good Life. His research has been featured by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Wired, and National Public Radio, among others, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Templeton Foundation. He’s the author of the book Mindwise, and was named one of the world’s best 40 under 40 business school professors by Poets and Quants. I hope you enjoyed learning from Nick Epley, because I always do. 

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