Anger Articles

It’s the Little Things That Lead to Happiness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

let it go butterfly freeWhat’s the best part of your day?

For me, it’s waking up early and having coffee on my porch as I watch the sun rise. There’s just something calming about this little morning ritual. I never miss it, it’s truly one of the highlights of my day.

Of course there are other things that can brighten your mood during the course of your day that you might not think so much about.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

The Psychology of Personal Space: Seat Reclining

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The Psychology of Personal Space: Seat Reclining

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard more and more accounts of airline flights being diverted because of an argument over reclining seats. Reclining seats are obviously not the problem — they’ve been available on most airlines’ flights for the past five decades.

The problem is that as airlines seek to eek out every dollar of profit from your pocket, many have decided to reduce the space between seats, making your personal space up to an inch smaller than it was just a year or two ago. The person in front of you trying to recline their seat isn’t to blame — the airline you’ve chosen to purchase a ticket from is.

But all of this really a battle over personal space. And no battle may be more emotionally involving than this one.

Understanding Rejection in Personal Relationships

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Understanding Rejection in Personal RelationshipsRejection is one person saying to the other — “Keep away, I don’t want you around me now. ” Such a message often hits exactly in the center of our ego and shakes our self worth.  Thus both giving and receiving a message of rejection has to be handled with sensitivity.

Thankfully most social rejections are subtle. Most of us, in the beginning of a relationship, choose less-risky ways to make a connection. Saying “Hi”, sharing a joke, participating in a yoga class together, all these activities can aid in the process of building intimacy. 

Blue in the Face: When the Other Person Just Doesn’t ‘Get It’

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

He Just Doesn’t ‘Get it’!Have you felt frustrated because someone close to you just doesn’t “get it,” even though you’ve explained your point over and over? During those times, do you feel yourself getting enraged or shaking your head in disgust?

We’re often under the illusion that if only the other person understood “the facts” (as we see them), he’d embrace our position. When he doesn’t, we’re perplexed and frustrated.  In those moments, it’s hard to imagine that the other person has his own version of “the facts.” That what we strongly adhere to may differ from his deeply entrenched beliefs. And that just as strongly as you believe you’re right, he believes you’re wrong.

Families Engaged in Destructive Tug of War: How to Drop the Rope

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Families Engaged In Tug of War: How to Drop the RopeTug of war is an ancient game that is believed to have begun in the 8th century BC as a training exercise for warriors. Today it is a fun game usually played at social events that pits two teams against one another to reveal which team is the strongest and has the most endurance.

However, when a tug of war pits two family members against each other, it’s anything but fun. Indeed, it often turns into a deadly game — killing any safety and security that family members feel in their own home.

The Truth about Couples Therapy

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

upset couple backs bigstI always say that every couple would benefit from therapy. As a couples therapist myself, I am privy to the benefits of therapy both after problems begin and as a preventative measure. As some brilliant person once said, “The best time to fix a leaky roof is when the sun is shining.”

But the truth is, most people aren’t entirely enthusiastic about the prospect of couples therapy. Who wants to voluntarily do something that conjures up images of a woman in a beige sweater looking over her glasses, asking, “And how do you feel about that?”

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

Why Do We Find the Words ‘I’m Sorry’ So Rewarding?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

hugging09a

Have you ever been hurt by an unapologetic person? Most of us have. When this happens, it hurts, but we intuitively know the importance of forgiving the person anyway — for our own sake — simply to free ourselves from the heavy burden of resentment.

But still, we deeply crave the words “I’m sorry.” These simple words have the power to deliver nearly instant relief and help us drop our guard. Why is this? What exactly goes on in the heads (and hearts) of people who are at the receiving end of “I’m sorry?”

Withdrawal: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Withdrawal: the Good, the Bad, and the UglyWithdrawal makes love addiction different from codependency. Like any other addict, a love addict wants a fix — in this case, the object of his or her obsession. That could be a particular person, or a relationship in general. So what happens when that “substance” goes away?

There are two ways a love addict enters withdrawal: They’ve ended the relationship or tried to. Or his or her partner has left the relationship — explicitly, or by becoming obsessed with his or her own addictive behavior. As soon as the love addict feels the other person’s absence, it will trigger feelings of loss.

The ‘Weakness Factor’: Men and Depression

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Men and DepressionI’ve found that it’s much easier for women to say, “I’m depressed,” than it is for men. This has more to do with what I call the “weakness factor,” in which men struggle to admit something’s wrong with them or acknowledge something they perceive as a sign of weakness.

Men get depressed just as women do. The biggest difference between the sexes is that men typically won’t admit to themselves, or anyone else, that they’re feeling down.

Asking for help? As Anthony Soprano would say, “forget about it.”

Think You’re Not Guilty of Verbal Abuse? Think Again

Monday, July 28th, 2014

M375/0011

Never speak badly about yourself.

It’s a simple statement, one many of us would agree with in concept. But do you follow it’s advice? Probably not. Because our inner critic speaks to us in a voice so familiar we rarely notice it’s presence.

Recently, I had a friend say out loud with absolute conviction: “God, I’m such a (expletive) idiot.”

She said this more than once, and I was taken back to my childhood where this type of mental patterning was more commonly accepted. I used to say this out loud to myself all the time. Now, I just say it internally.

Recent Comments
  • Not my monkeys: I really related to your article. I was given up for adoption at birth and always felt like the...
  • Kiscos: Thank you so much for this article. I have been truly suffering after a major breakup and have been bouncing...
  • Snoopy: No forgiveness for child Abusers. This article assumes people want to be victims and glosses over the real...
  • JohnLA: thanks michael. i needed to read your words tonight. i think it is more than just a start. i think it is a...
  • michelle: Ive known this man since high school, it wasnt til about two years ago we had a causal sexual relationship....
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code