Community//

“The movement I’d like to lead would be people knocking on their neighbor’s door and saying, Hello! My name is (YOUR NAME HERE)” With Dr. Venus Nicolino

I’m not the first to say this but it’s worth repeating: We are living lives of increasing isolation. We’ve replaced social interaction with social media. We’re losing our sense and understanding of community and connection. Which is a real human need. So the movement I’d lead would be people knocking on their neighbor’s door and […]


I’m not the first to say this but it’s worth repeating: We are living lives of increasing isolation. We’ve replaced social interaction with social media. We’re losing our sense and understanding of community and connection. Which is a real human need. So the movement I’d lead would be people knocking on their neighbor’s door and saying “Hello! My name is (YOUR NAME HERE). I brought you a lemon bundt cake to create a pretext for us to have a conversation and get to know each other” Trust me, when the zombie apocalypse happens you’ll be soooooo glad you’re already friends with your neighbors: Whether it’s human evolution or zombies, cooperation equals survival.

I’m not the first to say this but it’s worth repeating: We are living lives of increasing isolation. We’ve replaced social interaction with social media. We’re losing our sense and understanding of community and connection. Which is a real human need. So the movement I’d lead would be people knocking on their neighbor’s door and saying “Hello! My name is (YOUR NAME HERE). I brought you a lemon bundt cake to create a pretext for us to have a conversation and get to know each other” Trust me, when the zombie apocalypse happens you’ll be soooooo glad you’re already friends with your neighbors: Whether it’s human evolution or zombies, cooperation equals survival.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. V. Take an irreverent perspective on life’s problems and add a dash of profanity and you get Dr. V (aka Dr. Venus Nicolino). The humorous yet philosophical doc is now the author of Bad Advice: How To Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullshit. She is also the host of the hit show Marriage Bootcamp Reality Stars, and previously starred on Bravo’s LA Shrinks. She’s been featured on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, The Millionaire Matchmaker, Steve, Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, The Dr. Oz Show, Rachael Ray, and The Real. Dr. V holds a master’s degree from New York University in counseling psychology, and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and children.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

The most interesting story?!?!? I could tell you about the guy on my couch unsure of what to do about his mermaid fetish, but then there’s all those times I was locked in a mansion with a crew of volatile yet lovable reality stars: Those were just chock full of interesting moments. The fabric of my career is nothing but interesting stories. Asking me to pick a favorite is like asking an astronomer to pick a favorite star…if stars were prone to hangups, breakthroughs and/or emotional meltdowns.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’m a big fan of sexting my husband. I remember in the early days of texting, before we all knew better than to text (or sext) and drive, I sent a sext to my kids’ pediatrician that was meant for my husband. She responded with a 🍆. Lesson: Don’t text and drive. (Upside: Aside from not getting in an accident, I also learned my kids’ doctor has a great sense of humor)

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

The biggest thing I’ve got going now is potty training my two and half year old. So publishing my first book while wrapping my sixth consecutive season on Marriage Boot Camp is just gonna have to be enough. I’m also outlining the next books in the Bad Advice series: Bad Advice for Dating, Bad Advice For Marriage, Bad Advice for Parents, Bad Advice at Work and so on.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

Look, working on this book meant getting my mind blown on a daily basis: I talked to top scientists and researchers for each chapter. But the chapter debunking the Bad Advice that “Honesty is the Best Policy” really threw me for a loop: Scientists agree that deception isn’t a character flaw: it’s a a universal instinct and it’s not unique to humans. It’s not that lying itself is wrong: Why you’re lying matters more than if you’re lying. Easy example: A two year old hands you a paper covered in crayon scribbles and says, “I drew this for you, do you like it?” If you don’t say you absolutely love those fucking scribbles you are a monster.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

I want my readers to finish my book with a renewed confidence not just in themselves, but in their own intrinsic goodness. I want my readers to know they are worthy of everything they feel, deserving of everything they need and more talented, resourceful and intuitive than they might have ever realized.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Anyone with the courage to defy the meta-message of all Bad Advice. That message is What You Feel, What You Need And Who You Are Do Not Matter. That message is often enforced at the cultural level, and it’s usually directed at the most vulnerable. Those who challenge it are called troublemakers (or worse), but remembered as heroes: Gandhi. Malala Yousafzai. Martin Luther King Jr. Rosa Parks and so on. Anyone with the courage to remind and inspire people not to take any bullshit inspires me.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

I’m moved by anything that can tell the truth with heart, regardless of genre. The writer Robert Mckee said a good story is something that says, “Life is like this…”. So whether that’s Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude or Becker’s The Denial of Death, anything that offers a new perspective on the universal experience of being a human…that’s what inspires me.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

I appreciate the vote of confidence! The impact I want to make is to generate courage: Courage for readers to challenge everything they’ve been taught to believe about themselves, their needs, their emotions and a very specific worldview that comes with those beliefs. I want to remind people that the repetition of lies and misconceptions, even when it’s lasted for centuries, can never erase the truth of who and what we are.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?

Write the book you want to read, not the book you think someone else will want to buy. Equally important: Make sure your outline is solid before you go to draft, or else you’re fucked.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I’m not the first to say this but it’s worth repeating: We are living lives of increasing isolation. We’ve replaced social interaction with social media. We’re losing our sense and understanding of community and connection. Which is a real human need. So the movement I’d lead would be people knocking on their neighbor’s door and saying “Hello! My name is (YOUR NAME HERE). I brought you a lemon bundt cake to create a pretext for us to have a conversation and get to know each other” Trust me, when the zombie apocalypse happens you’ll be soooooo glad you’re already friends with your neighbors: Whether it’s human evolution or zombies, cooperation equals survival.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”.

Don’t Read The Comments Section

Ever. For any reason. About Anything. It’s like looking into the exhaust pipe of a car while it’s running: Nothing good ever comes out of there. Why stick your face in it?

If You Feel Great All The Time, You’re Probably Fucked Up

Anyone who claims to never have a bad day or bad mood is either on drugs, in denial or an Instagram Profile that’s somehow taken on human form and now walks among us.

Ignore All That Bullshit About Carbs

Do you have any idea how shitty it is to be an Italian and be told you can’t eat pasta? And then years later to hear it’s really all the sugar that’s fucking us up? Total bullshit.

“Normal” Is Just the Brand of Crazy The Majority Agrees On

If something doesn’t feel right or true to you, it probably isn’t…even when the rest of the world keeps telling you it is. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid to challenge anything.

Don’t Get Bangs

I’m not sure why, but they just don’t work for me. I came home from getting my hair chopped and my husband told me, lovingly and with empathy, that they made me look insane. He was right.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

I’m gonna go with Rhianna. Of course, I love her music but my respect for her only deepened after she launched cosmetics that proved to the industry that beauty products can be inclusive and aware of diversity without sacrificing style or success. She’s a deep one, and I want to hear more of what she has to say. About everything.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’m on Twitter at @Dr_V_tweet and Instagram @doctor_v_

I’m also on Facebook but is anyone on Facebook anymore? Or as my mom says, “The Facebook”.

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.