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🗣 Talking saved 21% more cancer patients' lives

and what a certain conversation could do for you

"We need to talk."

They're the words that make your heart stop.

But they're also the same words that could keep your heart beating for years longer.

What do I mean by that?

Having tough conversations could quite literally save your life, according to one shocking study.

After receiving traditional treatment, a group of patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma were split into two groups:

  • One met weekly for 6 weeks where facilitators taught communication skills

  • The other group didn't meet or receive any training

Five years later, researchers checked back in on both groups.

  • Almost 30% of group #2 (the ones who didn't meet) had died from their illness.

  • While only 9% of group #1 died (the ones who were taught communication skills).

In other words, learning communication skills boosted survival rate from just 70% up to 91%.

That's called statistical significance!

How's this possible?

The book where I read about this (fittingly called "Crucial Conversations") doesn't try to explain why, but here's my theory:

  • They had the courage to speak up when their treatment didn't feel right to them

  • They were able to effectively navigate conversations with loved ones in a way that resulted in less stress (stress is correlated with more illness)

  • They could talk to their doctors in more frank and clear ways without beating around the bush or downplaying their symptoms (thus making sure things didn't get missed and they were taken care of)

Regardless, understanding why they lived longer is less important than the how: having tough conversations.

Obviously don't be a jerk, or whiny, or complain about everything.

That's not what having tough conversations is about at all...

Practice speaking up, being kind, and clearly communicating your thoughts with a level head and a calm tone.

And I do mean practice. It's a skill to be developed.

I'm practicing too!

If you wanna check out the book I'm reading, here it is again: Crucial Conversations, By Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler.


I believe depression is legitimate.

But I also believe that if you don't:


eat nutritious food,

get sunlight,

get enough sleep,

consume positive materials,

and surround yourself with support,

then you aren't giving yourself a fighting chance.

Matt Stephens

me: tells her a story from before she was born

her: “Was I in jail when that happened?!”