Design

The Best Advice

Hallie Bateman comic

Writer and illustrator Hallie Bateman gives the best life advice…

Hallie Bateman comic

Hallie Bateman comic

On her Instagram feed, she often shares wise words scribbled on torn scraps of paper — things like, “invite everyone” and “there are many kinds of beauty and your kind is one of them!” I always am struck by what she says and feel more grounded after reading. Luckily for us, this week, she published a book of her thoughts called Directions: Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There.

Also, now I’m curious: What random talents do you have? I can talk easily to little kids and always know what time it is.

Hallie Bateman Directions book

Congratulations, Hallie!

P.S. The best career advice, and the best parenting advice I ever got.

(Drawings excerpted from Directions: Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2021.)

  1. Elizabeth says...

    -I am oddly proud (though have never told anyone) that once when I was probably 9 years old my sister wrote an essay and needed to know the word count. she was stressed and had a lot to do, so I agreed to do it for her — I counted every word and wrote down how many were in each sentence (she had a gnarly high school English teacher) and… read the essay at the same time. she was shocked when I handed it to her and said “why DID Brutus hate Caesar?”

    -I also have developed a small skill of which I’m rather fond — when I come across something that would make a good present, I write it down. I have a note full of URLs and names of novels etc, with the name of the person(s) it would suit. when the holiday/birthday rolls around, it’s so helpful. like a tiny gift from my old self!

    -I’m fluent now, but even when I first started learning French I had little trouble with the tricky pronunciations (their “r” and “u” etc.) it’s something I cherish — I believe it’s because I can mimic people very well (their inflections and emotion in speech). when I was a kid I could make my little sister cry laughing with imitations of movie characters and friends.

  2. MB says...

    I’m really good at arithmetic, I complete the NYT mini crossword pretty quickly generally, I try really hard to approach most people with total non-judgment, you could wake me up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and I could still sing the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ theme song

  3. Jen says...

    These comments have made me so happy! I think I love you all! I can recognize the voices of actors in commercial voiceovers — every time!, I read really fast (but don’t remember all that well, sadly), can drive stick, parallel park, and can generally understand people who speak another language (even though I only speak English) – maybe it’s the inflection? It’s weird, but has come in really useful! I also rock at Bananagrams and Scattergories. My family is sick of me winning. Must be from all of that fast reading!

  4. G says...

    I recently moved home after being away for almost 7 years and have been cooking for my older sister for the first time in our adult lives. On a recent visit, while cooking a whole roast chicken for her, my 8 year old niece and my two year old daughter – she gently commented on how she admired how fluidly I moved about the kitchen. I had no idea I presented myself this way… I always feel a bit nervy and worry that everything will be a total bust. Well, ever since she made that comment I’ve tried to do a better job of seeing myself in this light. It felt like the much needed performance review after choosing to put my career on hold almost two years ago to stay home and raise my children. Thanks sissy.

  5. C says...

    Thank you Cup of Jo for creating a space where we can all share what we’re good at! Why is it a faux pas to talk about our talents, or what makes us special? You are all amazing.
    My random talents are:
    – I can find anything. If I misplace something, I’ll find it. Even if I am in a house where I don’t live and I have never even seen the thing that has been misplaced, I will find it. I just know exactly where to look – it’s weird!
    – I’m great at navigating. I almost never get lost and I’m great with maps. I have some kind of internal compass so I always know which direction I’ve come from and/or need to go. I also have a photographic memory for landmarks, so if I go somewhere once I will always remember how to get there.

  6. janine says...

    I am good at making people and animals feel cozy. I’m very good at making smoothies (my son always says “You should open your own smoothie shop!”).

  7. Daniela says...

    I can whip up a meal from random bits and ends and kids + animals tend to immediately trust me.

  8. Sally says...

    Things I’m good at:
    – Seeing both sides of an argument, and being the mediator.
    – Walking LONG distances, for miles and miles.
    – Attracting little kids. They always beeline for me. Part of that is because of my job as a teacher of little kids. ;)
    – Reading picture books upside down and backwards. If you’ve ever read a book to 30 kids at once, you’ll know what I mean.

  9. Sanguine & Salty says...

    I can write backwards in cursive. It’s a good trick with the kids, especially now that less & less of them are learning cursive!

  10. margaret says...

    Love the comment section on this site!
    – I have pretty handwriting
    – I can organize things like drawers, closets and pantries really well
    – I can proclaim. By which I mean, I don’t just say I love you, I will spontaneously produce a long-form spoken essay about all of the reasons why you’re not just awesome, but why you’re awesome to me, how you’re awesomeness has evolved over the years, etc.
    – I can smile in a way that seems to make other people happier.

  11. Sequoia says...

    I can talk to anyone, about anything. I never get starstruck or shy. I’m good at asking questions that haven’t been asked before. I am objective in nearly everything I do. And I know that there’s some clause in the motherhood contract that says we can’t sing our own praises but I am good at motherhood. Honestly nearly everything in my life outside of motherhood is a hot ass mess but I’m doing a bang up job with this kid!

  12. Just loved reading all the comments. At first I was thinking I’m not really great at anything and after reading the comments I’ve realised I have some weird talents of my own too. I’m another who always knows what time it is and have my own internal alarm clock, I can wake up at any time I set it at. I can also read peoples moods, I immediately know how people are feeling. I am also good at parallel parking but here in the UK everyone can with varying degrees of proficiency as it’s part of our driving test. I am also really good at falling! A very strange talent but as a horse rider quite a good one to have. I’ve had some really horrible falls horse related and not and I (touch wood) have never broken a bone. And finally I can read tarot cards but only for people I don’t know very well.

  13. Gillian says...

    – I can slice a cucumber super fast: multiple roommates have commented
    – I always pack a lunch, without fail I always find something in the cupboard to take for lunch
    – I am a swift stick shift driver
    – I give meaningful gifts, the ideas just come to me
    – I love public speaking and feel my best presenting
    – I can often make jokes come full circle- somehow tying in a funny moment from earlier in the evening later on- these are my favourite kind of witty remarks!
    Thanks for this opportunity, this was really fun to think about and I got lots of inspiration from others. This is my first time commenting, I don’t know what finally struck me to be apart of the community instead of just observing.

    • margaret says...

      Welcome Gillian!

    • I get what you mean about full-circle jokes :) it makes me feel like a character in a movie, or a proper stand-up comedian- as if I’d planned the whole thing!

  14. Capucine says...

    I can get fractious motors to start.

    Outboard motor on the reservoir patrol boat. Copier # 5 in the library. 1955 sewing machine. 1983 land cruiser. RV generator.

    It’s nice when someone comes running to get me to do it because they know I have a special relationship with a particular moody motor, I’m quietly proud of my secret super power.

  15. To be honest the comments are the best part of it…

  16. Nina L says...

    Ummm, the post should say “I can read anything backwards…”
    Apparently I have problems writing like a normal person, lol!

  17. Nina L says...

    I had so much fun reading the comments for this post! More, please!
    I thought about my “talents” and came up with…
    I can anything backwards even when it’s upside down.
    My brother and I have been able to “throat sing/talk” since we were very young. Adults think we’re weirdos, but kids are wildly amused and eager to learn. Even babies are intrigued if we don’t speak too low or too loud, lol!
    I can pronounce pharmaceutical and generic medicine names. To me, the names sound like a bunch of tipsy 10-year olds got really silly!
    I am able to take control of a chaotic situation; becoming a total boss within seconds, and surprisingly everyone listens and obeys without question!
    And finally; almost anyone will reveal their desires or secrets to me (sometimes it’s DEEP, DEEP/DARK, DARK stuff that can get “therapy and/or prison” scary fast!). It saddens me to consider the amount of pain that exists around me. I don’t think I could ever be a therapist, a cop, or clergy…what a responsibility!

    • Sanguine & Salty says...

      I can write backwards in cursive too!

    • Tovah says...

      I just bought one!!!

    • Heather says...

      Ha! Me too! Didn’t know I needed it, but clearly do. Also ordered a hand-turned ash fruit bowl! GORGEOUS stuff in this shop.

    • Brooke M says...

      Oh my gosh! I’d really love this shirt. Is there a way you could donate the image? I’d be happy to contribute money to a wildlife rehab if I could use it. We go to a lake called Goose Lake every summer and I’ve been looking for inspiration for a group T-shirt for Memorial Day.

  18. Katie says...

    I pride myself putting my clothes on in the exact right order so I never have to tuck or untuck anything.

  19. Amy says...

    So great to laugh at a personally tough time, thank you, all!
    I am a master at finding things my family misplaces in the house/car/yard. I think this comes from many years of searching for a lost hard contact lens in almost any situation.
    I drop into a book while reading and block out the world (and often need to!)
    Alternately, I can give an impromptu speech to a large group of people and make them laugh.
    I write an authentic condolence card. The key: Think deeply about the person impacted, their loved one/experience and write the note when you are ready. Grief is timeless. There is no deadline for sharing your love.

  20. Annie says...

    This is a fun exercise. I am a natural teacher. I can touch my nose with my tongue. I run fast. I French braid my own hair. I have a green thumb. I give myself a great manicure. Animals like me.

  21. Hannah says...

    Thanks for this exercise, it helps against my current negative self-talk. My talents: I am reading really fast and can understand several languages. I am obsessed with etymologies. I make people at ease and am a good listener.
    I can cook and bake decentely without measurements. I am very proud of myself for always choosing the right pasta.

  22. Liz says...

    I am really good at boiling down complex information into something easy to understand.
    I am good at figuring out what animals want.
    I can whip up a good salad dressing anytime with stuff around the kitchen.
    – I would also buy a “Hang loose, my goose” t-thirt

  23. I looooove reading these!

    I am a whiz at spelling and have a huge vocabulary – comes from lots of reading as child, I believe.
    I am a pro at getting stains out of clothes and fabric!
    I have magic hands for back rubs and neck rubs – my friends and family love it when I give them and my hands just seem to know what to do.
    I rarely get lost because I have an excellent sense of direction – always know which way is north, etc.

  24. Molly says...

    My weirdest talent is that I can speak backwards… I can say words and full sentences backwards. I do it all the time in my mind, and have been since about fourth grade? I recently told my family about this (and demonstrated) for the first time and their reaction was hilarious!

    In addition, I am excellent at folding fitted sheets, loading the dishwasher, detangling necklaces, and identifying cars from very far away 🤷‍♀️.

    Oh – and I am great at doing the one-color sections on jigsaw puzzles like the water or the sky that nobody else wants to do. Not sure where all this has gotten me in life…

  25. rachel simmons says...

    As a mom of 2, one still a baby, I usually do not have the luxury of going on a walk by myself, but Easter Sunday, I had the chance, and I don’t know what it was, maybe the weather, maybe the cute dress I had just put on, or that I had just gotten up from a nap, or maybe because I was chatting with my mom on the phone with no one to interupt, maybe it was the delightful cup of coffee i was drinking, or maybe it was just the fact that I was ALONE on a walk…or a combination of ALL of those things, but it was one of the best feelings I had in a long time, total contentment.

  26. Debbie says...

    It’s difficult sometimes to focus on talents and gifts, so I had to ponder a bit. I made lovely handmade cards any never forget to mail a thank you note.
    I am very disciplined when it comes to meal planning (Friday evenings), grocery shopping (Saturday mornings) and meal prep. Every single week.

  27. Mary F Bly says...

    Years of working in fine dining has taught me how to rock a white polyester button down like I’m on the cover of Vogue. Roll the cuffs to just above the bend of elbow, tuck the correct amount into slacks/apron, button all the way up if wearing bright lipstick and earrings, leave unbuttoned if wearing necklace. Thank me later :)

    • Jane says...

      what if I’m nervous about stains!!?

  28. Sarah says...

    I’m instinctively good at slicing up foods, especially fruits and veggies. When I was in Costa Rica with a college class, we stopped at a mango stand and everyone got mangoes. I cut mine up without thinking, then everyone was like, whoa, will you cut mine? Years later, i started seeing those “how to cut a mango properly” videos and was still surprised it was something that had to be explained. Made me feel good about myself though for my little talent :)

    • Ann says...

      How did you cut it!?

  29. Sadie says...

    I write beautiful songs.

  30. LB says...

    Always know the time
    Make really good french toast
    Drive stick shift (and parallel park too!)
    Pack a ton of stuff neatly and expertly in the trunk (years of watching dad load up the old station wagon, then SUV)

  31. Stacy S says...

    I’m really good at knowing the actors in movies, even if I haven’t seen the movie before.
    I also make a mean caramel cookie cake that is the requested dessert at most family gatherings.

    • ooh share the recipe please!

  32. hali says...

    Hallie should know one of her talents is that everyone wants to be her friend after reading her advice!

  33. Lolly says...

    I always order well at restaurants and am very good at identifying strange smells.

  34. E says...

    I’m good in a crisis. When the shit hits the fan I am clear, calm and ON.

  35. Mary says...

    I would HARDCORE rock either a “hang loose, my goose” or “my vibe calms geese” t-shirt 👍👍👍

  36. Jen says...

    As always, I am so, so tickled by the comments!

    – I am exceptionally good at loading the dishwasher. It’s such a fun puzzle for me, so I secretly look forward to this chore. It’s very satisfying to organize, rearrange and make things fit just so.
    – I can spell talk. This means that I can spell out the words of sentences as I speak them, with the punctuation and inflection that the sentence would normally have and everything. I love doing this. It blows my kids’ minds.

    • Bobbi says...

      We are going to need a video.

  37. Lane says...

    I can make soup out of anything. You give me a nearly empty fridge and pantry, and I can turn it into soup. Really good soup! And I can turn anything into a song. This is a talent which my 5 year old has inherited as he SANG his bedtime book last night a la Gregorian chants. It was fantastic.

  38. Ro says...

    Chopping/slicing vegetables with great precision. Not exactly something I thought of as a “talent” until my husband (who is the better cook of the two of us) started raving about my slaws looking like they came from a bag, which he assures me he means in the best way possible. No joke, it’s become a real point of pride for me in our relationship.

  39. Jenny says...

    I can make good decisions in a blink. Dating to engaged – 1 week. Choosing a wedding dress – over my lunch hour. Engaged to married – 4 months (the venue wasn’t ready sooner and still happily married 8+ years later). Which house to buy – only looked at one and love it more each day. Selecting glasses at the eye doctor – 5 minutes. What to eat on the menu – 1 minute.

    • Maryn says...

      I envy this!

    • PRISCILLA says...

      I can totally relate to this. Even down to the engagement and wedding. My husband and I got engaged during the pandemic and married 90 days later. The wedding was everything I had dreamed it would be. Do you get impatient with people who are indecisive? (i do… oooops!)

    • Jenny says...

      @Priscilla – Congratulations! And haha, yes!

    • Jane says...

      I am so jealous! If there was (is) a mental illness that is a profound inability /fear of making decisions, then I have it. My closet is bare, my house is bare because I can’t decide on clothes or furniture. It’s been like this for years.

    • @Jane, I read Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel and really found it helpful. I did think too long about whether or not to get the book, but I found it really helpful and am really glad I got it.

    • Jane says...

      Haha, taking too long to decide to buy the book… T I requested it at my local library, commitment-free! Thank you for the recommendation :)

    • margaret says...

      Hi Jenny – I wonder whether if in addition to being really good at making fast and good decisions, you’re also a person who’s oriented towards being happy/content. This is not to take away from your decision-making skills, but maybe your other skill is to enjoy life readily!

    • @Jane, yeah, I totally overthought it! I’m glad you can get it at your library and will be able to read and see if any of the ideas are helpful…without the commitment and having debating whether or not to buy it. :)

      (I’m definitely not the other Jenny on this thread who makes good decisions in a blink, haha!)

  40. Sydni Jackson says...

    Hah, my husband is always pointing out my unseen talents, since I’ve always struggled with feeling normal compared to other people (a common INTP complaint!). I can pick up anything with my toes, effortlessly. And I’m incredibly adaptable and flexible in environments where there’s lack of clarity and planning (very helpful in travel and event planning!).

  41. Maria says...

    I always knew that Cup of Jo has the best comment section on the whole internet, but this time you broke the bank, ladies. Thank you all for making the world a better place with your lovely random talents <B

  42. CC says...

    “Hang loose, my goose” for new CoJ merch!

  43. Brittany says...

    I can find four leaf clovers anytime I look! It feels like magic

    • G says...

      It is!

  44. Hillary says...

    I can recite rap lyrics for many of life’s situations.

    I can do a variety of funny voices, like cartoon characters. I specialize in Kermit the Frog, general “cutesy” voice, and Mickey Mouse.

  45. Emily says...

    I am really good at determining exactly the perfect container for leftovers from dinner. Filled to the brim but not overflowing, efficiency at its finest!!

    • Laura says...

      This is me, too! My husband calls me “The Volumizer” as we joke it’s my superpower.

    • Jen says...

      I call my husband the Volumizer too! Same talent with leftovers! I love this comments section!

    • Mandy says...

      We call that spacial person
      One of my talents
      My husband who is a amazing graphic designer -which I would think would help I’m ths area – is not spacial person

  46. J says...

    I was struck by the first image of not bringing your phone when you go for a walk. As an Asian American woman, I wish I had that privilege, but I don’t. I walk around my own neighborhood with my phone and pepper spray ready to document a racist incident against me or defend myself.

    • Sadie says...

      Yes, while it sounds lovely for many it is not safe.

  47. Willa says...

    Most likely people confide in you because you are an empath :)

  48. RNK says...

    I am very good at giving hugs. Like, sometimes people express surprised gratitude and come back for another one. =)

    • Alex says...

      That’s really great :)

  49. Courtney says...

    Also this doesn’t your question but re: advice–the best advice I ever got was from my dad, who always tells me to “use the right tools for the job.” It sounds so obvious, but you know when you’re trying to fix a loose screw and you’re using your fingernail or a butter knife and it doesn’t work and it’s so annoying, but then you find your screwdriver and it takes two seconds and works perfectly? Just a micro-example, but it applies to everything. The right tools work better and take less time, even if it takes a few extra seconds to hunt them down at the outset.

  50. Jane says...

    I can…
    Drive stick shift
    Parallel park- I’ve even gotten random compliments
    See the bright side
    Make people laugh
    Make a good salad dressing
    Fold a fitted sheet
    Do a flip turn in the pool (not very well but still)
    Travel light- even for long trips

    • Whitney says...

      In my family we refer to people who can parallel park well as “excellent parkists”

    • AMK says...

      OMG Yes! Parallel parking is also my superpower!

  51. Stephanie Zercher says...

    People confide in me. I don’t know why — I myself am very private. But I am routinely amazed at what people tell me (and sometimes things I wish they wouldn’t have shared!). I also make the best scrambled eggs. And I am very good at making order out of chaos, whether we’re talking about organizing a room or figuring out what to do in difficult or confusing situations of all kinds.

    • Amy says...

      I love how well you articulate all of these things about yourself!

  52. Courtney says...

    I’m a baby whisperer–I can get them to calm down, to sleep, to burp, to smile, whatever. And I love babies so it works well for me :) I can also tell why (or if) kids are upset and get them to talk about it. Actually this works with my husband too … my trick is I ask three times haha. Eventually they cave and they always feel better for telling me!

    I’m also really good at estimating how long a task or drive will take, and like others I’m good at knowing what time it is. I also have an amazing internal alarm clock so if I wake up at 4am and know I have to get up at 7am, I just tell myself to wake up at 7 and … I do. It’s very handy.

    Oh, and I have ninja-like reflexes. If someone drops something, flings it unexpectedly, a kid starts to fall–I can grab it in mid-air.

  53. Emily says...

    I envy your ability to talk easily to kids! I have NO idea what to talk to them about and it makes me nervous for becoming a parent!

    I have inherited my dad’s ability to make up new words to songs on the fly; give me a song and a topic and I’ll pull something together. Very excited to use this talent for my soon to be here baby, who will probably be the only person to care about this skill.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh you’ll DEFINITELY be able to chat endlessly with your own kid! It’s so different. Plus you have three years before they can really talk :)

    • kat says...

      Yes to song invention with kids! I have about 4 go-to melodies and we create songs for EVERYTHING. The best is hearing my now 6 yr old invent songs alongside me. His rhyming needs work, but he’s got heart and little bro doesn’t care a smidge.

    • Rebecca says...

      Emily, first congratulations on your soon to arrive baby! Second, I have also always struggled with talking to kids. However I feel I have recently cracked this with my partners nieces and nephew. Just ask them questions. If you come into a room and they are playing with a toy, ask them about it. Or their favourite game. Or what they ate for lunch. The kids seems to really like talking about what they are into. And the asking questions route has worked for me so far!

    • Maïa says...

      I’m very inspired by your hability to make up new words for songs! I had a crush for the song “love really hurts without you” from Billy Ocean (heard in the netflix tvshow Sex education) and recently decided to learn the lyrics, but I was so sad and angry when finding out how it somehow promotes rape culture (Im French so was not really understanding the lyrics when listening to the song). If anyone is interested to write an alternative with the same chorus but female-empowering couplets, I’d be so happy! (I could try in French but in English it would be more difficult for me)

  54. stephanie says...

    ordered! looks like the perfect coffee table book. thanks!

  55. Kate says...

    I want to be friends with every person who has commented. I am just loving reading through this list.

    • Amanda says...

      Yes! Same here!

    • Alex says...

      Me too!!!

  56. Lisa says...

    Cats love me. When I first met my future husband’s cat, he was very crotchety and not very friendly but we bonded straight away. I also have a weirdly good sense of direction. I can be dropped in a new city and figure out to get around quite quickly, but weirdly, I can’t tell the differenece between right and left so I suck at telling other people how to get around.

    • Emily says...

      I also have those hidden talents! I bond with nearly all cats and can find my way around places very easily. I am also very adept at finding information about a place, whether I’m moving or just visiting, I often know more about the goings-on than many people who live there.

  57. CE says...

    I can make phone calls no problem, and I am excellent at the game Set.

    • Kate says...

      I am also excellent at Set!! But only if there’s no background music. If someone turns on music I can’t find any sets.

      Have you tried teaching an adult how to play Set who’s never played? It is so, so hard. Kids get it no problem. Adults – way more difficult.

    • CE says...

      @Kate-yes, adults have not idea what to make of the game.

  58. Samantha says...

    I am, hands down, the most organized person I know. I think the only human who may be more organized than me is Marie Kondo herself.
    This also translates to digital things. Like, I am SO GOOD and organizing files and emails in google drive and setting up projects for work.
    I attribute a lot of this talent to pastry school and mise en place (meaning “everything in its place”)

    • Jane says...

      I’m envious

  59. Tori says...

    I’m a fast reader. I am good at making spaces feel cozy. I make a great bowl of oatmeal. I always remember where my car is parked (I live in the city).

    • margaret says...

      Oh wow I don’t even know what a great bowl of oatmeal IS, that is how bad I must be at making oatmeal!

  60. Katya says...

    I can make a manicure last for weeks without chipping (despite using my hands a lot!)
    I can always correctly estimate which size Tupperware to use for the leftovers
    I am an excellent present wrapper

  61. Rachel says...

    I have small interior design talents, like hanging pictures the first time (even on a gallery wall!) without ever measuring or laying them out, or I can recognize when a space is missing something and think of what to add to make it feel ~right~.

    And similarly, I am good at figuring out in groups of people when things don’t feel right–if someone is left out, if the mood is off, or if we’re missing something or someone.

    So maybe physically and emotionally, I can read a room?

  62. kat says...

    I am SO GOOD at packing a car. I have strategy to utilize every open space, I ensure needed items are accessible, and preplan so that unpacking goes smoothly, too. Arriving late at night? No prob, the pjs and toothbrushes are right here. I shudder thinking about watching others pack the car. (To note, we do not have a dishwasher. If we had a dishwasher, I may be one of those dishwasher obsessed people, too. Come to think of it, I am easily frustrated by insufficient drying rack use…)

  63. layla says...

    Hiya! I was just curious, I haven’t seen a lot of Kim Rhodes’ work as of late? Is she still here?

    • Sarah says...

      I was just wondering the same thing! We love Kim!

    • Tovah says...

      Yes, she wrote an essay on medical care that just ran earlier this week!

  64. Tess says...

    I make people feel welcome. When there’s a new colleague, I’m the first to help them, have smalltalk or invite them to lunch. Same with a new partner within my family or friendgroup. I always make sure they feel relaxed, welcomed and seen.

    Also, I can find the perfect home for pretty much anyone. Love to do this!

  65. Louise Maguire says...

    In order of gravity…
    I can ‘weigh’ butter by eye, like within two grams.
    I can always find the end of the sellotape
    I can predict when rain is going to start and how heavy it will be, and more importantly, living in Ireland, when it is NOT going to rain, and it is time to get out for a walk.
    I can distract children having meltdowns long enough for their carer to get the situation under control.
    I can sit with people through grief and listen and not feel uncomfortable and without trying to cheer them up or ‘fix things’,

  66. Evelyn says...

    – I‘m the best at pretty much everything
    – I‘m very humble

    Just kidding, of course! :)
    Actually, I‘m pretty good at calming down heated situations (between my kids or between colleagues at work), I can whistle really, really loud with 4 fingers and I grow insanely large tomatoe plants.

  67. Genevieve says...

    I think mine might be that I’m good at making friends as an adult! I always read people saying it’s so hard but I’ve moved to a new place 3 times in my 20’s and each time I’ve made friends pretty quickly! And mixed them so that they have become friends with each other too.
    (The opposite of most people because through school and university I struggled with friends and always felt like a peripheral member of the friend groups I was in.)

    • A.N. says...

      I have this same talent, Genevieve :) I am a super social person and my husband is always shocked when I come home and say “I met a new friend!” as if I’m a kindergartener, haha. I love it and love introducing them to each other, and pre-Covid, having big “meet each other” dinners.

      Also, my one other talent is that I can guess the ending to 90% of the movies I watch ;)

    • Mel says...

      SAME! I just swapped numbers with a mom at the park last night and my husband goes ‘how many mom’s numbers have you gotten now?’ Most Moms and people are eager to make new friends. My trick, are they making comments to their spouse/kid loud enough for me to hear it? It’s the bait. Take it. ask their name, their kids names, where they live and run with it. We ended up walking this family home last night and our kids ended up loving each other. My theory: what have you got to lose? Maybe they dont want to make friends and you get the brush off? But more likely, you’ve got someone like you dying to make a new friend.

  68. Mouse says...

    I know everything. Every tiny little stupid thing I read or see gets unconsciously filed away, apparently to be brought out later. REALLY not to show off, I just know useless random things. A conversation with a much younger person elicited the factoid that one of the Beastie Boys–I never listened to or cared about the Beastie Boys!!–was married to another rock star person, and then I blurted out “Kathleen Hanna. ” I don’t even know who Kathleen Hanna IS. I don’t know how I knew that. Sometimes it’s information which is actually much more useful than that; it ranges all over the map. It’s ridiculous.

    • Neela says...

      Amazing, you’re a sponge!

    • Kari T. says...

      Are you awesome at “guessing” the answers to Jeopardy?? I find that’s where I notice my random bits of knowledge suddenly spring forth, it always amazes my husband (and to be honest, me also lol).

    • Mouse says...

      Yes, Jeopardy! But then there are the sports categories and I am dumb as a post. My brain completely refuses to store any kind of sports information.

  69. Lara says...

    Mechanical pencils come to me! I find them frequently and have noticed this since high school (37 now). No other types of writing utensil, only mechanical pencils.

  70. Annie says...

    I can tell the time without a clock – even in the middle of the night. Good at cryptic crosswords. Can estimate (every.single.time.) just how much will fill a baking dish eg in lasagne, fish pie, shepherds pie and not waste anything. Hemming by hand.
    All useful.

  71. Hannah says...

    Most random talents? I remember how everyone likes their coffee. And I can get most animals (and little kids) to like me.

  72. Madeleine says...

    My talent is finding heart shaped things! Rocks, puddles, splotches on the sidewalk, crumbs, anything really. My most recent discoveries were a heart-shaped walnut chunk in a brownie and a heart-shaped hole in a piece of swiss cheese.

  73. Em says...

    I can connect with just about anybody. It’s like I can FEEL their personality. I know if they’re feeling uncomfortable, or have something they want to share, or are interested in a certain topic. It’s a great way to make friends but it can be kind of exhausting sometimes feeling like I’m responsible fir making everyone feel comfortable!

    • Carly says...

      SAME. The perks and weight of being an empath.

  74. Caitlin says...

    My sister would say I’m good at “saving the day.” Knowing/having that random item you need for a task, packing the perfect snack, getting something untangled, being in the right place at the right time. And I make a mean chocolate chip cookie!

  75. Julee says...

    How do I explain this, but- I’m a really good driver. Like, I could be a race car driver. I could drive for days.
    Also, I have a great sense of direction. I always know how to find my way around, wherever I’m at.

    • Jayne says...

      Love this!

  76. Anne Evans says...

    I love these comments!

    I always know exactly what time to leave the house in order to be somewhere on time. I hate to be late and am usually a minute or two early.

    I also always know what time it is.

  77. Lori says...

    I’ve always been a good speller. I can make just about anyone feel at ease and coax personal information out of strangers. I make a delicious chocolate chip cookie. I am an excellent listener.

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      I’m a great speller too!! Kind of forgot about that since autocorrect came around. I love spelling bc it’s so easy :) and makes it fun to learn other languages!

  78. MaryB says...

    This is so fun! I’m loving reading these!

    My main superpower is always knowing when the dryer is about to ding; about half the time I walk into the room just as it goes off. I’m proud of knowing what size Tupperware to use (my grandmother taught me the trick: It’s always one size smaller than you think). I can almost always make people laugh when laughing will make them feel better. I throw great parties and am pretty good at being the casual “hang-out” spot – during Covid only outdoors, don’t worry!

    • R says...

      Haha, your dryer superpower reminds me that I have a “talent” for knowing when a baked good is ready to come out of the oven. I’ll think, the cake should be ready soon and look at my timer and there will be 30 seconds left.

  79. Joanna says...

    I am now too cry laughing. This is GOLD. Reading these comments was LIFE. But man oh man, “hang loose my goose” and “my vibe calms geese” just got me going. Geese are sort of spazzy, so dang this is a dope superpower. T SHIRTS PLEASE.

  80. Meghan says...

    OMG this comment is a freaking gem. Chaotic neutral is so true. I come across many geese during my runs at the waterfront and I make my arms big and flap so they kindly move the the side. I wish I had your energy!

  81. Emma says...

    I love this!
    I’m really efficient and I’m good at leaving and hanging up the phone when it’s time

  82. Kiana says...

    I can pick up a language pretty easily. Drop me somewhere and I’ll figure it out.

  83. Florencia says...

    So fun to see Hallie on here! I don’t know her but we are from the same teeny tiny town (no one is from here!) and she went to school with my sister. She also has an instagram account @sonoranor where she illustrates real calls that are made to our local law enforcement and are published in the local paper. They are hilarious on their own and her illustrations make me laugh every time!

    • Becky says...

      Haha I just followed. Thank you for the recommendation!

  84. Liz says...

    My talent is building wooden train tracks. I wish it was a real job. It is so satisfying making them loop and join up in so many configurations!

    • Katy says...

      Omg yes – such a great skill… and when you can actually complete the loops using every piece is the box, it is so satisfying!! I am the champ at this too. The toddler doesn’t stand a chance.

  85. kash says...

    i’m very good at figuring out which actor would play regular people in a movie :)

    here i’ll prove it: jo, you LOOK like elizabeth hurley but according to me, mandy moore should play you in a movie

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha so funny!

  86. Beth says...

    Parallel parking, driving a stick shift (I suck at driving an automatic :P), and estimating the weight and/or volume of food.

  87. I was always baffled by your ability to know the time– mentioned in a previous post, I believe. Then I had a kid & found that I could know before opening my eyes when he’d cry in the night almost exactly what time it was. (Sometimes many, many times in the night!)

    I can get somewhere once I’ve been there once, I can parallel park, I’m an extremely timely thank you note sender

  88. Wink says...

    Love this so much. As for me, I’m a trivia whiz and can rhyme on a dime.
    Also, a myna bird for accents (often without trying to be!).

  89. Adel says...

    How about Jack of all trades but master of none? I pretty good- but no expert- in so many things: cooking, home design, flower arrangements, parallel parking, writing, conversations with random strangers, problem solving, painting my nails, social geography, mental math, the list goes on… I can very easily get a 94 on a test of any subject with minimal studying but getting a 100 on anything is pretty much impossible for me. So the question is: is moderate proficiency in many things a talent or I am just sadly not talented??

    • Angela says...

      Hi five, from another generalist, Jill of all trades! Sure I’ve got talents like picking up stuff with my toes, multi-tasking like a mo-fo, and being a data wizard, but I’m pretty much above average at most things and stand out at none.
      httpss://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/550188/range-by-david-epstein/9780735214484/

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      Hello from another JOATMON! It’s fun to learn a little bit of everything :)

  90. jan says...

    i can write letters for pages like im talking to someone. i know what kids want to xmas, i can find the best lunch spots by checking the menu on line.

    • Em says...

      I’m like this except with sports. I can pick up and play/do basically any sport or athletic activity at a solid B level with no practice or training. I am just lucky to be athletic and coordinated. My dad is the same. I think its definitely a talent!

  91. D says...

    I love Hallie’s work! Can’t wait to get the book.

    My talents:
    I make children feel safe and loved (I’m a preschool teacher). Also can tell great made-up stories on the fly and do silly things to make kids laugh, and I genuinely love talking to them and trying to understand how they see the world.

    Singing and songwriting, general feel for music

    Naturally I’ve always been flexible. Have always been able to do the splits, backbends, etc. Still got it at 30!

    • Angela says...

      You sound like an angel.

    • Caitlin says...

      I have a similar talent too, Little kids/babies trust me. Often I’ll be visiting with adults and their babies will be crawling around and they will come to where I am sitting. The parents are amazed, they tell me their babies are usually pretty wary of people they don’t know.

  92. Shelley says...

    I can enthusiastically play with children for many hours! I also memorize children’s books very quickly. Sometimes only one read! This comes in handy being a stay at home mom. I am a thoughtful gift giver :)

  93. Anna says...

    I am an excellent gift giver, I have a ridiculous near-perfect memory for completely useless (but moderately impressive) things, and I’m great at project managing/sub-contracting home renovations (my own and friends).

  94. SD says...

    I’m a baby whisperer. I pick them up, and they’re conked out in minutes!

  95. Alison says...

    Such a fun thing to think about!

    I can name way too many rap/hip hop/grunge songs from the 90’s and early 2000’s. I sometimes wish our brains were like computers and I could delete all those files!

    • Amy says...

      Same here. Also, I’m sad about DMX and have no one to talk to about this. Thought you may be able to relate.

    • Alison says...

      Totally! Saw that in my news feed a few days ago. I also have a REALLY hard time thinking I am not in my mid-twenties and so DMX would still be somewhat young!

  96. Ashley says...

    These are hysterical! I have never once considered my goose competence.

    I am an excellent packer. I can usually get our family of 5 in one suitcase (and everyone’s backpacks) for a 2 week trip.

    I always send thank you cards.

    New this year: I can carry on in chaos without getting overwhelmed. This is borne of homeschooling for the first time.

  97. B says...

    I am good at delighting in the mundane. Peppermint tea with honey, a nighttime walk with the dog, getting lost in a book. Especially good books. A teabag and a library card bring me a lot of joy.

    • Kelsey says...

      Oooh I have this talent I didn’t realize it was a talent!! Thank you for helping me see!!

  98. Cynthia says...

    I have handwriting that people often describe as my own “font”. Love that you can easily talk to small children! Definitely a talent!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so cool to have a font handwriting! :)

  99. Emma says...

    Many of my talents are food-related, as I’ve been cooking since I was 10. But my main talent with that is having a Chopped-level ability to make ANYTHING out of a bare bones fridge and random pantry leftovers. And it’s always delicious! I’m also very good at spotting celebrity doppelgangers, even very obscure ones like the actress who plays Meredith in Mad Men or a random character from SATC. People are always surprised and impressed…this used to be my pre-covid party trick ;)

  100. Bethan says...

    Same with the Tupperware! It’s sooo boring but genuinely feels like a superpower at times and is also so satisfying!!

  101. Jackie Korey says...

    no one cares if you gain 5 pounds. you’re probably the only one who notices!

  102. MK says...

    If anyone remembers Double Dare (Nickelodeon in the 1990s was the best!) at the end of the show Marc Summers would go around the crowd and always ask people to share their talents. It was one of my favorite parts. Usually they were silly (armpit farts) or fact related (knowing pi to the 20th number); and one girl shared she knew her alphabet backwards. And I thought, that’s for me! I’m going to learn my alphabet backwards, and I did! My 4 year old is super impressed by this talent, and I still am too.

    • EW says...

      Double Dare! I have a 9-year-old who I think would LOVE Double Dare. I need to see if it’s streaming anywhere…

  103. BP says...

    Loved reading the comments. I was chatting with my husband this weekend about another article where women are asked what they would do if, for one day, there were no men on the planet. So many said they would go for a run at night, or go for a run and listen to loud music with headphones. Mine was go for a walk without my phone. I always want to but can’t bring myself to leave it behind for safety reasons.

    Hmmmm my talents..I put together excellent gifts for others!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I would park in parking garages! they’re so convenient — but so scary to me!

    • Sequoia says...

      Holy crap I never realized how many things I don’t do because men are terrifying/annoying! Things that immediately came to mind:
      solo hike
      camping
      go for moonlight walks
      go to an actual gym
      solo road trip
      visit Istanbul…. yeah this is is going to keep going so I’ll just stop here.

  104. Cat says...

    I’m quite good at arranging flowers and almost all dogs love me!

  105. Lindsey says...

    Haha! Love these and genuinely impressed :)
    1. I can do a loud pop noise with my mouth that leaves children astonished or laughing.
    2. Really good/fast at untying difficult knots

  106. allison says...

    I make the best pantry pastas – pasta with whatever scraps of veggies, meat, beans, cheese, herbs etc. are in the refrigerator and need to be used up. I never know what flavor profile or end goal it will be until I’m in the middle of it, but it always manages to turn out well. I do this once a week and my husband, whose superpower is his unending enthusiasm, exclaims every time after he takes a bite, “You’ve outdone yourself, again!”

    • Sarz says...

      Such a good skill! :-o Like your hubby, my pasta-related superpower is the enthusiasm.

    • JML says...

      I love this! Your respective super powers are a perfect match.

    • Amy says...

      This is just so sweet! A perfect pairing of humans!

  107. Kate says...

    What a warm human and a lovely book!

    I am very good at parallel parking. And teaching people to parallel park because I always emphasize there are FOUR steps and the last one is the most important: Trust the process.

    Do exactly the three regular steps: align mirrors with the car ahead; turn steering wheel all the way towards the curb and slowly back in; as soon as you see the bumper of the car behind you, turn steering wheel all the way opposite as you continue slowly backing in.

    FOURTH and most important step: Trust the process!
    Do not panic. Do not second-guess yourself/the process. It really is that easy.

    • Megan says...

      YES! Me too! I will be so disappointed if I ever get a car that does this for me!

    • Jane says...

      Love this! I was always a below average parallel parker even though I knew and tried to follow the steps. Then a friend pointed out that I wasn’t getting CLOSE ENOUGH to the car ahead when I lined up initially. I started getting way closer and everything fell into place! Definitely still working on not panicking on occasion though :)

  108. Emma says...

    I am really good at being gracious and making people feel seen and understood. What a lovely prompt!

    • Sarz says...

      I’m going to second this, if I may. :) When I was younger, I didn’t think that being *nice* was such an impressive gift, but oh, now I do!

  109. Alyssa says...

    Reading people’s talents is life-giving and fun.

    Mine would be:
    -I’m excellent at picking out the exact right greeting card for any person and any situation.
    -I’m a super fast reader! Something I don’t think I realized in college when I could have basically skimmed assigned reading.
    -I have a really good memory for factual information.
    -I rock at Jeopardy.
    -I handle stress under pressure extremely well. (I tend to crash hard afterwards, but in the moment, I’m a rock!)

    • Sarah says...

      I’m impressed with all of these (another fast reader here!) but SUPER impressed by your identification of the crash/aftermath of your being an amazing rock under pressure! I think knowing yourself well enough to know that is yet another superpower. Well done!

  110. Ali says...

    I can make decisions, from career changes to what to eat for dinner, quickly and painlessly. Also, I have learned that when you second guess the decision or choose not to follow it because other people think it isn’t right, you always regret that one.

  111. Denise says...

    I can find my way back to any location if I’ve been there once before. I’m an excellent stick-shift driver. I have a great eye for photography composition.
    And I’m good at helping people feel included in a group. Oh, and I make an awesome fruit salad requested at nearly every meal gathering. (it’s just fruit w a tablespoon or two of honey to break down those cell walls to let the flavors out.) That’s 5, I’m more awesome than I thought. LOL and so is everyone with great talents in the comments.

  112. T says...

    Pondered for a moment and then…GASP it came to me. I’m really good at pouring things without spilling, soap into a soap dispenser, muffin batter into a muffin tin, a glass of wine BACK INTO A BOTTLE OF WINE (clearly I’m most proud of that one).

    • Mandy says...

      We call that mom hands!

  113. ARC says...

    I love it. Here we go:
    I have amazing parking skills (learned while driving and parking in Tuscan hilltowns in my 20s, I think …)
    I get things done. I am the master of step lists, reminders and follow-ups at work.
    I am a really good speller, even though English is not my first language. (And I love Scrabble, and often winning against my husband, a journalist).
    When I write these down, I feel super-braggy, and I would not tell most people in real life, but luckily nobody knows who I am ….

  114. Rose says...

    I am great at making soup! My face is very expressive so coworkers have commented on how funny my reactions to everything are. And finally I read really fast, so fast that I need to slow myself down before responding to emails haha

  115. Erin in AZ says...

    I am extremely calm and focused in an emergency situation.

  116. Jenny says...

    I can play Ms Pacman for over an hour without being killed.
    I can frost cupcakes beautifully with my eyes closed. Not sure what prompted me to try.
    Horses and children are drawn to me. My friend calls me the Pied Piper of the neighborhood kids. I could even ignore an animal or teenager, and they would still end up on my doorstep.

    ps – LOVE the questions lately. So fun to read through all of the answers.

  117. Julee says...

    When it seems like there is NOTHING to eat, I can miraculously whip up a delicious meal with canned goods, some herbs and spices and a bag of rice —even for a crowd.

    I too can make kids feel at ease, usually by trying to guess the names of their friends classmates (hint: there’s usually a Cameron, Dylan or Noah in the group).

    Sometimes I can’t shut up, but when people are hurting, I’m usually a pretty good listener.

  118. Sonja says...

    I love this! My husband, sister, and BIL recently had this discussion – my sister’s being that she can make a delicious meal out of whatever wherever.

    I started to say what I felt mine was: quick reader, good memory and my sister yelled: “No! I know what yours is. You know the answer to any question you’re asked immediately.” My husband and BIL followed up with, ” YESSSSSS.” And it’s totally true; ask me my thoughts on anything from my favorite cocktail (gin and tonic) to my views on Congress, to what I’d do if I won the lottery – I KNOW. Apparently the time I spend in the ether of my mind has given me an exhausting superpower.

  119. Susan says...

    I can: understand anyone speaking English, no matter their accent or other languages; remember the lyrics to any song I have ever sung, going back to my tweens; make up a limerick, with multiple stanzas, on request; design and sew custom aprons from my own patterns; play the clarinet and tap dance (not at the same time). I am neat, a good friend, a good cook and a great organizer. Thanks for asking, made me smile.

  120. AN says...

    I have,
    – patience to keep in touch with people by calling/sending cards/wishing on special days despite of geographical distance/losing of touch
    – a desire to learn from younger colleagues, enthusiasm to mentor and staying competitive
    – strength to get back on to the wagon irrespective of number of times I fall down

    Oooo… I feel so proud of myself :)

  121. b says...

    I have a lot of what I call “cocktail party knowledge.” It comes from years of doing crossword puzzles. For example, Lisa Kudrow was originally tapped to play Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) on Frasier, but taping conflicted with FRIENDS and she wasn’t able to play off Frasier the way Peri did.

    • Jo says...

      I would like to thank the universe for helping everyone win in this situation (Phoebe as Roz?? anyone else as Pheobe???) and to thank you for bringing this to our attention. I wonder what other casting disasters are quietly being averted as we type!

  122. Random talents: I can hear a song once and know it by heart for the rest of my life, and I’m very good at pronouncing words in different languages. Recently my partner tried to teach me some Cantonese words and he said my pronunciation was the best he’d ever heard from a non-native speaker :)

  123. Didi says...

    These are wonderful – thank you!! I could use a good laugh and snorted out loud thinking of all my “insert here” moments of being embarrassed. Every time I peek back at # 3, I laugh even harder! It’s like talking to someone who quips back: NOT EVEN AT THAT!!!

  124. Joy says...

    I have an odd knack for choosing the perfect-sized Tupperware for leftovers ; ) and am quite good at detangling necklaces

    • AC says...

      I LOVE how many people have listed this because as someone who never picks the correct container size, it truly is a superpower :)

  125. Meghan says...

    I can make a really loud clicky sound with my tongue, like opening a supersonic Snapple bottle. And I have an incredible memory, but only for the most random, and useless, facts.

  126. Louisa says...

    Joanna, thank you for asking. I can run a meeting. I can write a clear agenda, with preparatory homework so we don’t waste time. I can tell when we’re getting derailed, and I can bring us back to the topic at hand without offending anyone. I know what can be done via email. I can tell when it’s time to stop talking and have a vote. I make decisions on the fly about secret-ballot v. show-of-hands. I can see when we need to create a small ad hoc committee, and I assign clear deliverables and timelines to that committee and ensure the appropriate representation. I know who to follow up with afterwards, just to check in (“We talked a lot about a topic that’s important to you but you were pretty silent – anything you want to add, just between us?”). I know who to write in advance and say “I know you’re swamped this week – feel free to skip tomorrow’s meeting if you need to. I’ll touch base if anything comes up.”

    The problem with my superpower is that I have very little patience for poorly run meetings.

    • Meredith says...

      Hi Louisa! Can you teach a class on all these super powers!?! I want to learn how to be a meeting boss too ❤️

    • Laura Carrillo says...

      “I know what can be done via email”- all readers who report to someone else just fell in love with you Louisa!

    • ARC says...

      Awesome superpower. You are the person every department needs! I have a friend with the same amazing superpower, and she makes the little non-profit on whose board I am run so smoothly. No three-hour long Board meetings anymore. Thank you for sharing!

    • Caroline Levenson says...

      Can you run our government please?!

    • Anna says...

      SHARE YOUR SECRETS, LOUISA!!

    • kash says...

      uh, louisa, are you hiring?? for literally any job where you would be my manager? love these superpowers!

    • Stephanie says...

      Please show us your ways! This is a super power I’m trying desperately to develop and feel like I’m failing every time. So impressed by this, it truly is a super power!

    • Brittany says...

      How did you learn to run a meeting like this? What book can I read to gain this knowledge?

    • Kate says...

      Hi Louisa, these are such stand-out skills to have. Kudos to you! Would love to be a fly on the wall and watch you run a meeting! So wish I had these talents too.

    • Louisa says...

      Your questions made me think about how I learned this skill! I think it’s this: I taught high school. — A teacher’s job is to elicit, attend and respond to 30 students’ ideas, in real time, no matter how zany, and advance our understanding and ideas based on those. If you fake it (ask for their ideas but then ignore those ideas to advance the “right answer”), they can tell. And since high schoolers are often interested in status (in addition to the topic at hand), this is good preparation for working with adult colleagues. :) Good teachers have serious skills.

      Two trainings that were particularly useful came from Public Conversations Project (20 years ago – maybe no longer in existence?) about how to prepare for and lead conversations across political divides, and from the Strelo Group (on agendas).

    • Bobbi says...

      We’re gonna need a guest post by Louisa.

  127. A says...

    Thank you for introducing her! Lovely! (After a quick dive into her highlights, now I want a home tour!)

  128. Neela says...

    Haha, I was hoping, since your mum had been visiting, that the advice might be some of hers! She always seems to have such wise words to impart 🤗

  129. GF says...

    I’m really good with animals
    I make a really good vegan chickpea noodle soup
    I can fit so many grapes in my mouth

    • Lisa says...

      You sound like an a+ human being

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  130. Kaysie says...

    I instinctively know EXACTLY, to the second, how long to heat up leftovers in the microwave to get my food to the ideal temperature (steaming hot but won’t burn the roof of your mouth). I might not be able to cook but I can microwave food that other people have cooked like nobody’s business. :)

    • Amy says...

      Yes! And with the right power level to get it heated through evenly, too! No one I know takes advantage of manually controlling the power level unless they’re defrosting something.

  131. GMN says...

    That’s lovely!

    I can spell everything and I can read menus in a really high number of languages.

  132. Marie says...

    I can read the room (a shockingly underrated talent!).

    • Emilie says...

      This! Me too. Emotional intelligence I suppose? Something I assumed everyone could do, until I became an adult and realized how rare (and underrated) it really is.

    • EM says...

      Shockingly underrated, though I’ve found people who can do this often needed to as a survival mechanism at one point. It can be a superpower born out of difficult circumstances.

    • mb says...

      100% !!! It is incredibly underrated. I have the ability to figure out who is uncomfortable or unhappy in a meeting or a conversation. I can also play it very, very cool at the moment so as to not make it awkward and lean into bringing it up later in private. It is a super important skill and makes people feel seen and their feelings valued.

  133. lauren says...

    My vibe calms geese. That doesn’t come up in most contexts, but I volunteer at a wildlife hospital and geese are chaotic neutrals at best, so it’s helpful that I can be like, “hang loose, my goose,” and they relax in my arms while we take care of them.

    • Lulu says...

      This comment is aspirational vibe/skills for me.

    • Gloria says...

      I don’t volunteer at a wildlife hospital, so I hope no one will be offended when I use “Hang loose, my goose,” which I fully plan to. Thanks!

    • Megan McC says...

      This is my favorite thing I’ve read all week!

    • Rme says...

      Hang loose, my goose. You’re amazing.

    • Samantha says...

      “hang loose, my goose” should be everyone’s life motto. it is certainly mine now!

    • Ari says...

      This is the best comment. I love it so much, it made me laugh out loud. Bless this talent!

    • Allie says...

      Okay, Lauren wins.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg LOVE this.

    • Em says...

      Hahah, this is adorable. Thanks for sharing :-)

    • Denise says...

      Tee shirts please! “Hang loose, my goose” & “My vibe calms geese” LOL

    • SD says...

      Best. Talent. Ever.

    • AN says...

      Legit crying, can’t stop, won’t stop! PLEASE, Jo, make T-shirts!!!

    • kash says...

      hang loose, my goose!!!!!!!!

      your other superpower is having the coolest superpower

    • Lauren, this comment brought me so much joy! 100% came home and demanded that my husband make some “hang loose my goose” keychains for our woodworking Etsy shop 😊 (search finnyluwoodworking on Etsy if you want one!)

    • liz says...

      omg. haha i’m so glad i kept reading these comments to get to this one!! A+, Lauren!!

    • Brittany J. says...

      I need you in my life, Lauren. Please tell me you are in Minneapolis, MN and we can be friends IRL.

    • Kelly says...

      You volunteer at a wildlife hospital plus you have left the best comment of the week = winning at life.

    • Mags says...

      I love your comment so much!

    • Jean says...

      Welp this just became my life mantra :D I would LOVE to know you, Lauren!

    • Emilie says...

      Lauren, you have started a movement! Hang loose, my goose vibes are helping me with my anxiety today. Thank you <3 (and Joanna, we need the t-shirts!!)

    • kat says...

      I’d order a shirt, too! Who can turnaround a design, perhaps for the benefit of the wildlife hospital? That’d be a double win. This is absolutely a perfect phrase to use with my young boys. And I love how it’d be like a secret handshake among readers.

    • Nadja says...

      This is so funny. I make them…angry? I once had a whole flock start yelling at me. Tell me your secrets!