Brain and Behavior

How to Stop Creating Problems for Yourself

"If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family." -- Ram Dass
I just returned from a four-day trip with my family. It was my own family of four (my husband and two kids), plus my mom, my two sisters, and my brother-in-law. It was great. We get along well and have fun together. And, it was four days with family.

It’s a funny thing… although you grow up with your siblings, listening to and being influenced by your parents, you all end up so unique -- different from each other and different from the adults who raised you.
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Why Anyone Would Want to Control You

The need to control others may not make a lot of sense to you. If you’re a live-and-let-live person, you’d never want to control someone else. Even if you’re a perfectionist, you stay on your own case all day, not necessarily someone else’s.

But controllers are out there. They want to micromanage what you say, how you act, even what you think quietly in your own mind. It could be your boss, your spouse, or even your parent. You can’t be yourself around them. They insist on being your top priority and want undue influence over your life. They might push your buttons to get an emotional reaction out of you because they want to exploit it as weakness. They have no respect for you or your boundaries.
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Brainwashing in Abusive Relationships

Being in an abusive relationship often feels like torture. Sometimes that's because your partner's behavior feels like the torture techniques used by mortal enemies instead.

Brainwashing is defined in the Psychology Dictionary as that which “manipulates and modifies a person’s emotions, attitudes, and beliefs.” It reduces a person’s ability to mentally defend themselves and makes it easier for another person to control them.

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Borderline Personality

Identifying Borderline Personality Disorder in a Friend or Loved One

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most misunderstood, wrongly-diagnosed mental illnesses. It affects an estimated 14 million Americans, or 5.9 percent of all adults. That means more people suffer from BPD than Alzheimer’s. One out of five psychiatric hospital patients has BPD, as do 10 percent of people in outpatient mental health treatment centers.

Despite all of this, BPD is rarely discussed in public forums. This is in part due to the fact that very few people know what it is or how to identify it.
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The Purpose of Emotions as Told through ‘Inside Out’

I was a little skeptical of the animated feature film “Inside Out" when I first met Joy. "Not another lesson about replacing everything with positivity," I thought during the first part of the movie. Her dazzling blue hair, her incessant happy attitude, and her “go-get-'er” attitude were almost too much for me to handle.

I suppose one could say that Joy is the epitome of happiness. But her heart is in the right place. She really wants the best for 11-year-old Riley (the protagonist).
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6 Self-Assured Tips to Earn and Keep Respect

Because you do deserve R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Do you feel as if people (or friends) take advantage of you? Do you let it happen? If you responded, "Yes" to one or both of these important questions, it's time for you to get the respect you deserve!

Respect is something you earn; however, no one deserves to be taken advantage of. Luckily it IS possible to change how others treat you!

Try these simple tips and tricks:

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5 Common Spiritual Ego Traps (and How to Avoid Them)

Though many of us may have a love-hate relationship with our ego, it’s necessary to remember that it serves an important spiritual role. In the positive, it gives us a distinct personal identity that helps us fulfill our life purpose, allowing us to share unique soul gifts with the world while working out our karma.

In the negative, the ego fools us into becoming overly identified with our bodies, thoughts and emotions. This attachment tricks us into believing we are fundamentally separate from God, one another and even our own souls, which leads to suffering. Over time, enough profound suffering eventually leads us back to God, completing the cycle.

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Social Exhaustion: Avoiding Introvert Burnout

Some people derive energy from being with others. These are extroverts. To introverts they seem to rule the world with their easy charm and ability to small talk just about anyone. An introvert doesn't derive energy from other humans. In fact, socialization exhausts the introvert, who must retreat to solitary in order to recharge their battery.

It's like a video game. In my corner is a little health meter. When it gets too low my character slows down and can hardly play. During this time I'm easily susceptible to injury, so I have to hide. The problem is I don't realize that my meter is running low until it's all gone and I can barely function.

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Their Pain Is Not Your Pain: 5 Tips for Highly Sensitive People

“You,” he said, “are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.”

That quote comes from Emilie Autumn’s psychological thriller novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. I used it a few months ago in a post to describe Robin Williams and why, I think, he was in so much pain. But I also think it’s true for me, and why I am in pain so much of the time.

Ten years ago, after reading
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