How To!

How To Love Your Face

Sarah Ruhl on finding the mirror that matters most.


Episode Notes

Earlier this year, our listener, Rell, nearly failed a promotion. Not because she was unprepared or unqualified, but because she didn’t maintain enough eye contact with the interviewers. Rell’s eye hasn’t been fully receiving information since she was born, a condition that’s outwardly visible and known colloquially as a “lazy eye.” It’s beginning to affect her self-confidence and is this “ugly thing [she] can’t let go of.” On this episode of How To!, new co-host Carvell Wallace brings on Sarah Ruhl. Sarah is an award-winning playwright, and author who wrote about her experience with Bell’s palsy in her recent book, Smile: The Story of a Face. Sarah has some wonderful advice for letting go of your inner rage, making interactions with strangers less painful, and even finding people who light up your mirror neurons.

If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Dress with Confidence.”

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Podcast production by Derek John, Rosemary Belson, and Kevin Bendis.

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About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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  • Carvell Wallace is a New York Times bestselling author, contributing writer to the NYT Magazine and a former Slate parenting columnist and co-host of Mom and Dad Are Fighting. He also hosted the Finding Fred podcast and writes for GQ, Esquire, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and other outlets.