Sidewalk Talk

Squish Talks’ Stuart Chittenden on the power of conversation | Stuart Chittenden

June 15, 2021

Stuart Chittenden is a highly interesting character. A lawyer by trade, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska from England after marrying his wife and grew fascinated by the inherent power of conversation. That fascination led him to start Squish Talks—the organization he has leveraged to unlock human potential in all areas of society simply through conversation. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci laughs, learns, and grows from her conversation with Stuart as they converse about all things politics, crying, crying about politics, the movie “Inside Out,” and their plans for a COVID coming out party. As many questions as Traci asks him, Stuart asks them right back to her, and what results is an engaging back and forth about Squish Talks and Sidewalk Talk and how these two individuals are using their platforms to create a world built on connection. 


Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:34] Meet Stuart 

[07:02] Stuart asks Traci why she started Sidewalk Talk 

[07:58] The heart behind Squish Talks and Sidewalk Talk 

[12:40] Stuart’s travels around Nebraska and what it taught him 

[14:53] Crying after the last presidential election and Stuart’s feelings now 

[18:03] How Stuart recovered from the election and regained his belief in conversation 

[23:34] Practices and experiences to carry forward post-COVID 

[26:48] Coming out of COVID party 

[30:27] How Stuart finds ways to engage in dialogue politically 

[36:22] Listening, silence, and humor as components of dialogue 

[41:11] What’s next for Stuart 

[44:17] Outro 


Resources Mentioned

Squish Talks


Standout Quotes from the Episode

“Conversation does have the power to connect people, but it also affirmed my sense that people have a desperate, and deep, and profound yearning to be seen by other people.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“A conversation is never meant to share a truth with someone else. It’s meant to share your truth and to help someone else, too. It’s not about correcting something; it’s about connecting something.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“I don’t need to know at this point which way did you vote, I just need to know that as a human being you’re awed by the majesty of this.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“Unless I’m in-person with someone, I’ve found it’s pointless to engage in politics with someone.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“I’m struggling to let my own beliefs go or stop them getting in the way of listening to someone else. And that’s work that I need to keep doing.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“I don’t think we ask enough genuine, authentic, I-want-to-hear-your-answer kinds of questions of other people, of the world, of ourselves.”
—Stuart Chittenden 



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Find | Traci Ruble


On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

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On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT


Find | Stuart Chittenden  


On LinkedIn: @StuartChittenden

On Instagram: @squishtalks

On Twitter: @SquishTalks 

On Facebook: @SquishTalks 



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