Bullying

Mindfulness and the Subtle Art of Letting Go

This is kind of embarrassing, but I'll tell you anyway: I used to be a chubby kid and I hated when adults called me fat.

To make it even worse, I had moderately long hair, so people often would mistake me for a girl. Nothing wrong with being a girl, but my child self just couldn't handle other people's realities.

Looking back now, I seriously don't remember any adults who called me fat. I know they did...
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Brain and Behavior

Why We Hide

The wise Seth Godin recently posted a blog titled "Hiding." He included these words: "We hide by avoiding things that will change us ... We hide by asking for reassurance. We hide by letting someone else speak up and lead ... We live in fear of feelings."

Shame is the hiding emotion. Here are some of my thoughts on the origin of hiding:

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Addiction

Empaths vs. Codependents

I don't like when the term “empath” is used interchangeably with “codependent.” “Empath,” which has its origins in the spiritual and metaphysical world, was never intended to be a replacement term for codependency.

An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability to intuitively sense and understand the mental or emotional state of another individual. According to empaths I have spoken to and the information available on the Internet, they are highly sensitive to others' emotional and metaphysical energy. If, indeed, this extra-sensory phenomenon exists, it is definitely not the same thing as codependency.

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Anger

An Unwanted Neighbor

Your alter ego, Negative Nelly, inches closer. "You are a fraud. Success? Ha. You are fortunate to remember your child's name. Ohh -- and good luck with that presentation. Maybe you can ask Rick Perry for speech advice." You wince, pleading with the merciless critic to play nice. He mischievously chuckles, gloating at his latest victory.

The critic's name is Isa. He belittles every move, condemning you to a tortured existence. Sensing that twisting knot in your stomach, Isa pounces. Like a bad comedian, his timing is always off -- before a date, a meeting with the boss, or a presentation.

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Bullying

A Little Confrontation Is Good for You

In order to “graduate” from the outpatient psychiatric program of Laurel Hospital in Maryland, we had to demonstrate a certain level of competence at assertion skills or confrontation. It’s no wonder it took me three times longer to be discharged than the other patients.

One day an older woman sat in the middle of the circle. She looked very tired and drained. Her daughter had been dumping her kids off at her door in the morning and leaving them with her until late in the evening. Since the woman was battling different medical conditions, this was very hard on her 
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Anger

4 Constructive Ways to Deal with Criticism

To live and be part of a community at work, home or school means we are sometimes told truths we may not like to know or hear. We get labeled for our shortcomings and judged on our failures and mistakes. While the temptation to block out the unpleasant feedback is strong, we stunt our personal growth and potential by doing so.

It’s terribly hard to be on the receiving end of disapproval and negative appraisals, but if we succeed in building our strengths and managing our weaknesses, the world can become our oyster. Below are four ways to deal with criticism:

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Anxiety and Panic

The Unattainable Standard for Men

Picture a 24-year-old adorable, intelligent, but anxious and insecure young man. Joe, as I will call him, often feels frightened. If he were to pause for a moment and check his physical state, most of the time he would feel his heart beating in his chest and a subtle full-body vibration. Sometimes he has a pit in his stomach, and his appetite for food disappears.

These are all common physical symptoms of anxiety. Sensations like these are at best annoying, and at worst upsetting, debilitating and scary. Joe wonders why he feels anxious so often. Thoughts like, "What's wrong with me?" come often preoccupy him, which of course makes matters worse by adding anxiety on top of anxiety. This experience is all taking place secretly inside him. To the rest of the world he seems fine.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 12, 2015


This week's Psychology Around the Net is full of some surprising information (for example, did you know many doctors in training suffer from depression?) as well as helpful suggestions (such as how to handle awkward personal questions during your next family gathering).

Dig in!

Signs of Depression Are 'Unacceptably High' Among Doctors in Training, Study Finds: Are all those years of medical training actually providing a "crash course in depression," too?

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Bullying

I Won’t Make the Same Mistakes My Parents Made

“I will not make the same mistakes my parents made.” It may be one of the most common sentiments in the world of parenting. But when we express this desire, it is often met with rolled eyes or some other doubtful response. Why is that? Deep down inside, I think we all sense it is much more complicated than we are willing to acknowledge.

Changing our parenting approach from the way we were raised is extremely difficult. The only easy solution is to swing the parenting pendulum to the opposite extreme, which does very little to improve the situation.

It is as though we are hardwired to behave in the same manner. In reality, that may be the truth. Our brain has been wired to perceive reality in a certain way.

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Bullying

5 Ways to Survive the Holidays with Difficult Family Members

Heading home for the holidays this year? Is there a particular family member who rubs you the wrong way, causes drama, or is just downright annoying, mean, or offensive? Do you want some coping skills that are healthier than heading straight for the bottle of wine? Below are five tips for handling challenging situations so they don't ruin your holiday.

Clarify your values.
Do you value honesty, fairness, kindness, support for others, or social justice (or something else)? It is important to think about what matters to you, because you are responsible for your own actions as it relates to this person and situation. Sometimes our values can conflict, so it is a good idea to clarify what you care about most. At the end of the day, you want to be able to know deep down that you handled the situation the way that matters to you, not everyone else.

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Anger

Befriending Anger

Tracy came to therapy to be treated for depression. When I first met her, I couldn't help notice how meek and small she seemed despite her tall stature. She claimed people walked all over her. And she was scared to say no for fear others would get angry.

As she shared her stories, she wilted like a flower in need of water. When I asked if she had feelings about what she was sharing, she said, "This is just the way it is" and then let out a big sigh.

I was struck by her passivity. As I listened to stories of friends and family who grossly took advantage of her kindness, I felt my blood boil. My anger got me curious about hers: where was it?

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Anger

Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Unlike physical or sexual abuse, emotional abuse can be much harder to pinpoint and recognize. Emotional abuse often is inconsistent in amount and duration and happens in multiple forms. At its core, emotional abuse plays into deep-seated fears of rejection, abandonment, unworthiness, shame and loveability.

Projection and gaslighting are two major tactics used in emotional abuse. Projection is the act of placing unacceptable feelings or unacceptable wants or desires onto another person. For example, a person who feels inferior constantly accuses others of being stupid or incompetent.
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