Personality Articles

Empathy: It’s a Win-Win Situation

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

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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.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Why Some Delusions Can Be So PersistentA single text message from my brother nearly sent me into an identity crisis. He was trying to persuade me to sign up for an extreme sports event which includes running up steep hills, wading through mud, scaling walls … getting mildly electrocuted.

If you haven’t heard of this and think I’m describing something out of Abu Ghraib, it’s actually a popular event these days. But I haven’t been all that sporty in a while (and I’ve never been electrocuted on purpose).

Spring Is Here! Could You Be Emotionally Allergic to Your Partner?

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Why Are We Drawn to Sad Movies?

This time of year allergies are affecting most people in some way. Some of us suffer from allergies to pollen, mold spores and other substances, which can really get us down.

I bet you are wondering what allergies have to do with love.

Did you know that you could have an emotional allergy the same way you have a physical allergy? Emotional allergies negatively affect us the same way physical allergies effect us, and emotional allergies can be just as debilitating.

Different Communication Styles Don’t Have To Wreak Havoc on Your Marriage

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Communication StylesMany couples feel that their arguments never get resolved because one partner seems to find the confrontation easy while the other partner wants to avoid it.

“We just cannot communicate” is a common statement made in couples therapy. This communication pattern is very common:

Connecting with Others Through Music

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Connecting with Others Through MusicIt’s probably not too difficult to fathom how certain music may mirror your own thoughts and feelings. Lyrics or melodies can potentially communicate the message that you want to convey. Songs can capture an emotional state or personal situation in the best way possible.

I love words, and I consider myself to be a pretty expressive individual. Sometimes, these classic quotes resonate: “Music exists to speak the words we can’t express,” and “When words fail music speaks.”

A Tale of Two Defiers

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

A Tale of Two DefiersShelley, a college sophomore, is an actively aggressive defier. She prides herself on being a fiercely independent person who doesn’t need or want anyone to tell her what to do. She often resorts to fighting words in her verbal outbursts:

– “How could he give me such a crappy grade?”

– “He’s tormenting me with that ridiculous assignment!”

– “Doesn’t she know I have better things to do with my time?”

It’s not just her words that display her defiance; it’s also her actions. She feels no guilt about petty acts of defiance, like returning library books late, ignoring due dates for essays, and refusing to pay parking tickets.

Are You Being Helpful or Annoying?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Are You Being Helpful or Annoying?Have you ever tried to be helpful but found that others experienced you as annoying? Did you feel resentful that your efforts weren’t appreciated? What did you do wrong?

First, a few scenarios:

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.

Narcissism and Millennials in the Digital Age

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Narcissism and Generation Y in the Digital AgeAccording to dictionary.com, narcissism is defined as “an inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity; self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.”

As a 20-something myself, I observe how individuals frequently throw this infamous word around, specifically referencing Generation Y, otherwise known as Millennials: “Look at how they tweet and talk about themselves — such a narcissistic generation!”

And while indulging in Twitter/Facebook updates and Instagram photos could be superfluous, I find that it’s a reflection of the digital age. Social media outlets have now become another prominent platform for communication and instant disclosure.

Meeting Strangers: How Passing Connections Enrich Our Lives

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Connecting with StrangersA few weeks ago, my friend and I spent Friday night at the local bar, with one premise in mind: we wanted simply to meet and converse with our fellow humans. (Since I’m in my 20s and no longer in school, opportunities for meeting new people are a bit limited.)

I discovered that one guy, let’s call him John, works a corporate job but paints on the side, and I found out that his brother teaches English and loves the performing arts scene. They came out to celebrate and toast their friend, who just became a real, live lawyer.

Why Men Don’t Ask for Directions

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Why Men Don't Ask for DirectionsWomen often find the male mind hard to understand. Why can’t men ask for directions when they are lost? Why can’t they read an instructional manual when they don’t know how to do something? Why can’t they pore over a self-help book on relationships when it can help them enhance their skills?

An old adage is that women are emotional and men are logical.

So how come men don’t operate rationally when they don’t know something?

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