Psych Central

Ethics & Morality Articles

Why Does the Boss Prefer the Bully to You?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Why Does the Boss Prefer the Bully to You?Bullying, it seems, pays off. Did you ever wonder why the bully gets away with it and even benefits with a promotion or other reward?

Your gut feeling is correct: the boss really does prefer the bully to you.

No wonder you hesitate in reporting workplace bullying. Not only is it unlikely you’ll get a fair hearing, but it could also incite retribution and even lead to the loss of your job.

Is it Good to Be Bad in the Workplace?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Is it Good to Be Bad in the Workplace?In recent years there has been a growing examination of the dark side of personality. Researchers have begun to appreciate the role played by socially undesirable traits.

In fact, recent research has taken an interesting slant, examining the way in which dark traits actually can be advantageous. The book Snakes in Suits is an excellent example. It argues that psychopathy can in fact help executives get ahead by making them ruthless, charming and impulsive. Indeed, we have previously discussed how agreeableness can be a hindrance in business.

When Unconditional Love Has Conditions

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

When Unconditional Love Has Conditions

I was once working with a group of teenagers discussing “integrity agreements,” which I described as “either spoken or unspoken agreements not to hurt each other.” These integrity agreements are the fabric of our society.

This belief, that we won’t harm each other, is what allows us to walk down the street without worrying about getting shot or intentionally run over. I discussed with the teens how every time we break integrity agreements with each other — every time we cheat, lie, abuse, or harm — we weaken the agreement and create unstable relationships.

How Grief Connects Us — Even in the U.S. Senate

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

griefI read with great interest that Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe has warmed up to his Democratic colleagues. What precipitated this unlikely melting of partisan boundaries was an outpouring of support after his son’s fatal plane crash on Nov. 10.

As the conservative senator commented: “I seem to have gotten more — well at least as many, maybe more — communications from some of my Democrat friends. And I’m a pretty partisan Republican. And so something like this happens and all of a sudden the old barriers that were there — the old differences, those things that keep us apart — just disappear.”

Why Making Comparisons Hurts You More Than It Helps

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Why Making Comparisons Hurts You More Than It HelpsAt the start of a new year, many people make resolutions and are inspired to make changes in their lives. This year my resolution is to have no resolution.

The problem with resolutions is that it can place you on a dangerous course of comparison. We constantly compare images, status, children, wealth, skills or values.

Although dangerous, comparison also is quite essential for our growth and development. We all need a parent, teacher, friend, pastor or role model to guide us and teach us. Most times your mentor knows something more than you, hence the comparison: you know more; I know less. Therefore, I want to know what you know. There’s also the triple comparison: he is “better” than me, but I’m “better” than she.

One tricky comparison is that of suffering. For example, someone’s family member dies and another person’s marriage is over. Though different, both are experiencing the same feelings of pain, grief and loss. To compare the extent of one’s trials is not so important, in my opinion.

The Many Faces of Empathy

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The Many Faces of EmpathyWhile empathy doesn’t come in as many varieties as are found in the cereal aisle, it is no more uniform than it is universal.

Empathy is generally understood as the ability to appreciate the ideas and feelings of another, even if those ideas or feelings are different from one’s own.

It is also volitional — I have to put on someone else’s shoes to be able to walk around in them awhile.

Does Everyone Lie?

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Does Everyone Lie?I am at the post office with two boxes of heavy books. I can send them book rate, which is far cheaper than first class if there is no personal correspondence inside the box.

“Is there a letter or any form of personal correspondence in any of these boxes?” the post office attendant behind the counter asks me.

I hesitate. I know full well that there is a small note sitting on the top book. I even know which stationery I used. I flounder. “Who cares?” “What an idiotic rule.”

“No,” I said. I lied. It was a white lie to save me ten bucks or more. But it was a lie. Which got me to thinking… Does everybody tell these little white lies — or even something worse?

How to Avoid Being Drained by Energy Vampires

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

How to Avoid Being Drained by Energy VampiresHave you ever had the experience of having the life sucked out of you by spending time with a particular person?

I’m talking about feeling exhausted, bored, irritated, stressed, anxious, threatened, overwhelmed or depressed after just a few moments in that person’s company.

There may have been times where you felt guilty for having negative thoughts about that person — which made you feel even worse. You may even have thought there was something wrong with you, such as feeling a headache coming on or stressing over a work deadline. Either way, you didn’t understand why you felt so out of sorts.

If that describes a familiar experience, chances are you have been in the company of an energy vampire.

The Spiritual Crisis Underlying American Politics

Monday, October 14th, 2013

exit from crisis signAmerica is a very religious nation. But sadly, we’re not a very spiritual one. Mother Teresa’s disquieting words resonate throughout the land: “You in the West have the spiritually poorest of the poor. . . . I find it easy to give a plate of rice to a hungry person . . . but to console or to remove the bitterness, anger, and loneliness that comes from being spiritually deprived, that takes a long time.”[i]

While it is obvious to anyone who graduated from sixth grade that America is reeling from a chronic political crisis, it may not be as apparent that the disabling political warfare is fueled by an underlying spiritual crisis. Disconnected from our human and spiritual roots, we flail around in a world that is oblivious to the suffering of others. Lacking a gentle mindfulness toward our own feelings and vulnerability, we quickly look away from those who are suffering or the environmental havoc we’re creating.

2013 World Mental Health Day: Taking Care of You

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

taking-care-of-yourself-woman-running

Today is World Mental Health Day. Today, I take a moment to reflect on the many challenges faced by those living with mental illness, especially those who are unable to access treatment.

Today is the perfect day to urge others to support mental health prevention, mental health education, and improved access to mental health treatment. Today is our chance to restart the conversation about mental health, to speak openly about uncertainties and misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses, and to move toward eliminating the damaging and unnecessary stigma that lingers around mental illness.

There are many obstacles people with mental illness face when trying to access treatment for healing and recovery. Three I want to mention today are access to treatment and resources; stigma; and an uninformed society — including treatment professionals.

Would You Help Cover Up an Affair for a Friend?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Would You Help Cover Up an Affair for a Friend?This guest article from YourTango was written by Kanya Daley

Betrayal. Seeing red. Unforgivable. Unbelievable.

These are words people often use to describe when they find out friends knew their spouse was having an affair.

But there’s often another element of upset that hurts as much as the affair it self — the cover-up. The cover-up occurs when friends know about an affair and fib for their friend as they lie and sneak around.

Which brings us to the question of the moment — would you help cover up an affair for a friend?

7th Canadian Conference on Dementia

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

7th Canadian Conference on DementiaDementia, a term used to describe declines in mental ability, such as memory and thinking, that interfere with daily life, affects millions of people in the U.S. and Canada. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just two of the debilitating diseases encompassed by the term dementia.

From October 3-5, 2013, a world-renowned faculty of national and international speakers will gather at the 7th Canadian Conference on Dementia in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference offers a wide range of topics related to dementia. There will be opportunities for stimulating debate, interactive workshops and exposure to the latest research via oral and poster presentations.

Recent Comments
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  • Hello: When you say people can rise above this using other means…what are these other ways? IMHO bullying works...
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