Personality Articles

How Self-Loathing and Self-Worshipping Lead to Lies

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Learn to Tell the Truth

I once asked a friend whether she knew anything about Russian literature.

“No,” she intoned, shaking her head with a studiedly blank look in her eyes. “Not a thing.”

Later I learned that she’d written her Master’s thesis on Anna Karenina. She had lied in order to avoid the fate — dire, she thought — of looking like a know-it-all.

Anger Detection and the Brain

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

angry woman screaming man 2When Greta gets angry, Dave has noticed that she tends to be quiet, almost stoic. Greta can detect slight changes in Dave’s tone of voice that signal to her he is angry. Couples like us can learn to be extremely sensitive to signs of anger in their partners, because understanding your partner’s emotional state helps you decide how to respond.

It’s also important to be able to detect anger in strangers — in some cases, your very life might depend on it! Over the years, lots of research on anger has focused on facial expressions. While “anger” does have a characteristic facial expression that is readily detected, there’s plenty of other evidence we can use to decide if someone is angry, like Dave’s tone of voice and Greta’s silence. Until the past decade, however, very little research had been conducted on another important component of anger detection: Body position and movements.

Getting Your Needs Met

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Surefire Strategies That Don’t Work for ADHD – And Some That DoAre you a nice person? Are you considerate, thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of others? That’s admirable and praiseworthy!

So how come you’ve been feeling unappreciated lately? Your needs never seem to count. It’s not fair.

You take other people’s feelings into account. How come they run roughshod over yours?

Owning Our Dark Sides

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Owning Our Dark Sides All of us have a dark side. This dark side includes qualities we don’t dare reveal to others. It’s the traits we are ashamed of and embarrassed about. It’s the traits others have rejected. It’s the traits we believe deem us undeserving or unworthy of love.

You may be judgmental, weak, angry, lazy, selfish or controlling. You may hate this about yourself. Or you might’ve buried these traits so deep you don’t even realize they exist.

Own Your Own Strength: Finding Power in Helplessness

Monday, August 4th, 2014

happy woman summer

One of the most crushing and crippling side effects of low self-esteem is the sense of helplessness with which it saddles us.

Hopelessness too, of course. But before hopelessness comes helplessness: that paralytic mixture of fear and resignation driving our belief that, whatever good, bad or incalculable thing awaits us around any corner, we will be tragically but blameworthily unequipped to handle it. Whether it’s a new relationship, a health issue, a job interview or a banana split, the one thing we think we know for sure is that we cannot endure it unscathed if at all, much less emerge educated, victorious, enjoying ourselves and/or improved.

For those of us who struggle with self-loathing, helplessness is not just a feeling but a conviction — in every sense of that word.

Can Introverts Become Leaders?

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Can Introverts Become Leaders?The ugly truth of life is that extroverts rule this world.

Does it mean that introverts can’t become great leaders?

The answer to this question is simple: No, it does not!

Cultivating Gratitude: Beyond Narcissism and Toward Connection

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

gratitudeNo doubt, our parents worked tirelessly to get us to say “thank you” when someone offered a gift or did us a favor. Most likely, they succeeded in getting us to mouth these words. But while we internalized proper etiquette, did we understand the purpose behind uttering thanks? To what extent did we develop an inner sense of feeling and conveying genuine gratitude?

Gratitude is a corrective to our sense of entitlement. One aspect of narcissism is the belief that we deserve to get without having to give. We feel that we’re entitled to fulfill our needs without being troubled by perceiving another’s world and responding to others’ needs. Our attention is fully absorbed within a limited and narrow sense of self.

How Connecting with Our Authentic Self Creates a Foundation for Intimacy

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

We long for love, connection, and understanding, but oftentimes we don’t know how to create it.

Growing up in a goal-oriented society, we may develop a mindset that helps us succeed in business, but doesn’t do much to create safe and satisfying relationships. Pushing ourselves to work harder and promoting our viewpoints may increase sales figures or professional triumphs, but too much focus on success can be antithetical to love and intimacy.

Self-Esteem and Friendship: It’s Time to Start Trusting Your Friends

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

friends09e

Friendship is one of life’s best blessings. Otherwise Bruno Mars, Dolly Parton, Lil Wayne and Ringo Starr wouldn’t have all written songs extolling it. But low self-esteem can puncture friendships, just as it punctures other blessings.

Knowing at some level that Mom was right when she said we can’t really like others if we can’t like ourselves, we overcompensate — trying to be the world’s best listeners, laughers and loaners. This turns friendships into perpetual auditions, as we offer our time and attention with the subtext: Judge me, please!

The Phenomenon of the Selfie

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The Phenomenon of the SelfieBack in 2005-2006, when MySpace emerged on the social networking scene, I’d be in the backyard snapping photos of myself for my profile picture.

“Lauren, you can point the camera to the outside world, you know.” Oh right, that. My mom did have a point or two, but it was the era of the selfie.

Whether those MySpace shots captured melodramatic teenage angst or glamour fun or autumn joy (yes, I did take a picture of myself in a pile of leaves), the selfie surely made its presence known.

Self-Affirmation: A Simple Exercise that Actually Helps

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Self-Affirmation: A Simple Exercise that Actually HelpsWhat is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you know that you are a storyteller?

We all have stories of ourselves formed by life experiences and relationships. We tell ourselves these stories, and we reveal the details of these stories to others through our words and actions. Our stories reflect our values and strengths.

Empathy: It’s a Win-Win Situation

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

hugging09a

At a family holiday dinner last week, it finally dawned on me that certain people I consider smart and beautiful consider themselves stupid and hideous.

Granted, I spent most of my life considering myself occasionally stupid and more or less hideous, but no one has ever considered me beautiful, so that’s different. Well, almost no one. But those few who did were clearly out of their minds.

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