Being Well Podcast: Defy Authority! (With an Open Heart)
February 21, 2022

There’s a tension we’ve all felt at some point between the benefits of conformity and the desire to be true to ourselves and stand up for what we think is right. On today’s episode, we’re joined by Dr. Todd Kashdan to explore how we can combine prosocial values with principled insubordination, so we can speak up for others (and ourselves) and maximize our chances of creating meaningful change even in the face of social pressure.

About Our Guest: Dr. Todd Kashdan is Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. He is a leading authority on well-being, curiosity, psychological flexibility, and resilience. He has published over 210 peer-reviewed articles and his work has been cited over 34,000 times. He is the author of several books including Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life, The Upside of Your Dark Side, and most recently, The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively.



  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 1:45: Combining skillful positivity and dissent
  • 7:55: Distinguishing principled insubordination and generic misanthropy
  • 10:05: Four elements of principled insubordination
  • 19:05: Yin and Yang applied to insubordination
  • 21:35: Safe havens and a secure base
  • 26:20: How capable are we of cultivating self-awareness?
  • 32:05: Positive intent, courage, and sitting with discomfort
  • 38:45: Strategies for being a moral and effective dissident
  • 46:40: Navigating societal hierarchies
  • 51:50: Process comments as insubordination
  • 53:00: What Todd does when his kids are insubordinate
  • 58:05: Recap

From Dr. Hanson: The Foundations of Well-Being brings together the lessons of a lifetime of practice into one year-long online program. Podcast listeners can use the code BEINGWELL25 at checkout for an additional 25% off! Please don’t hesitate to apply for a scholarship if you’re in need.

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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