Positive Ways to Negotiate with Bullies

One of the definitions for “bully” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary includes: “a browbeating person who is cruel to others.” A definition for the word “negotiate” includes: “to arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise.” Since the very core of negotiation is compromise -- and since that is often the very last thing bullies are prepared to do, it takes some thought to maneuver through a negotiation process with one. But it can be done!

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3 Tips for Helping Your Kids Develop Empathy

Every child is already empathic. We all are (with a few exceptions). We are wired for empathy. We are wired to connect, communicate and collaborate with others.

Empathy develops in infancy. “A child first learns to tune in to his or her mother’s emotions and moods, and later on to other people’s,” write Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl in their new book The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids.

They further explain, “What the mother feels, the child will feel and mirror. This is why things such as eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice are so important in the beginning of life. It is the first way we feel trust and attachment and begin to learn empathy.”
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6 Tips for Cutting Off Contact with Narcissistic Family Members

Our family has the ability to frustrate us like no one else can. But what can you do when the family you were born into is not only frustrating, but cruel, condescending and downright abusive?

We all have our limits and if you were raised in a household where abuse or mental illness was part of everyday life for you, your willingness to tolerate your family’s bad behavior may be higher than most people’s.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Cope with the Stress of High School

"Remember that awful feeling that last day of summer vacation before the first day of school?" His question was like a fart at a funeral and roused me from my previously relaxed summer drowse.

A long slumbering dragon in the cave of my gut, released a combination of indigestion and a feeling that can I only describe with the word “blech.” Only in all caps and much longer.

The end of lazy hot long days and the beginning of what seemed like just like long days... trapped in a windowless classroom.
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Fighting Depression at Work

“Fighting depression” does not appear on any job description.

Conducting job duties -- no matter how menial or how daunting -- has never been an issue for me. In one job, I faithfully took a former boss’s clothes to and from the cleaners. In another, I had the pleasure of demonstrating a business solution for those who run a global corporation. Due to past traumas that occurred during previous jobs, however, I constantly fight an inner war against depression.
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Brain and Behavior

Challenging Self-Doubts

Talented and thoughtful, she was a successful non-profit executive. She was well-known throughout the region for her philanthropic endeavors. She had founded three businesses in separate niche industries.

To the outsider, my client was a skilled entrepreneur, a connector between the business and arts communities. She was a self-made woman. When she spoke, others listened -- and followed.

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Child Sexual Abuse: Don’t Hide Your Head in the Sand

Right as the Summer Olympic Games started in Rio, the IndyStar reported that USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics, ignored sexual abuse allegations filed against coaches. Complaints were reportedly filed against more than 50 gymnastics coaches, but authorities were not contacted about the complaints if they did not come directly from a victim or her parents. Three of those coaches have since been convicted, while a fourth killed himself in jail.

Before I mention any details, I have to give a trigger warning to trauma survivors. This news brought up a lot of poignant, ugly feelings for me.
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It Isn’t Our Fault: Being in Love with a Narcissist

Note: Although I share thoughts from personal experience and refer to the narcissist as male, narcissism is not discriminatory.

Maybe you are feeling a desperate need to try and salvage a relationship you intuitively know is unhealthy and imbalanced; or maybe you are wondering why you can’t “let go” and “move on” from the loss of your relationship. It’s possible that you are in love with a narcissist, and now owning the blame for all the sudden problems or downfall. A narcissist is someone who will enter our life and consume our entire existence all for selfish benefit. Understanding the whirlwind and accepting the finality of a relationship with a narcissist will show that we possess tremendous value.

We are smart and confident, so why did we allow ourselves to fall for the narcissist?
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Brain and Behavior

The Denial of Trauma

“I don’t have trauma.”

“What happened to me isn’t trauma.”

“Trauma is something horrific.”

“I should have been able to cope with it.”

“It’s not sad.”

“I’m not upset.”

Accepting you are suffering from trauma is by far one of the most difficult aspects of recovery. I thought that admitting I was suffering from trauma suggested I couldn’t cope with the events in my life or I didn’t have the strength to deal with and process those events.
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I Love My Family But Not Their Politics

I’ve come to understand the reason for the old adage that "you don’t talk about religion or politics." People are very passionate about these subjects, especially during a presidential election year, so political discussions even among loving family members can become heated. Some people align so much with their religious beliefs or political values that they feel like it’s a personal attack when others have differing views from them. But what do you do when your own politics differ greatly from your family’s views?
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