General

Unloneliness

Does loneliness have an antonym? A word that is the opposite in meaning? Thesaurus.com has a few suggestions: the obvious being “unlonely,” and debateably, “loved.”

The world has in common loneliness, but not all the people who are lonely are unloved. There are the lonely people whom have themselves stood still behind the world, fiercely protective and bonded to their solitude, but are yet quick to blame the world they deny for their isolation. They have never known anyone to trust, nor kindness, and they are unable to recognize trustworthiness and kindness when they receive it; it makes them greedy, hungry to be loved, but also suspicious of just that all at once.

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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: September 3, 2016


Here in the U.S., we're currently in the throes of Labor Day Weekend (and I'm at a local music and arts festival, celebrating!).

Labor Day is the first Monday of September, and although it gives us a nice little three-day weekend, it's about much more than that: Labor Day honors our country's labor movement and "constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So, Happy Labor Day! I hope you're doing something to celebrate all your hard work and, once you get a chance, check out this week's latest in how your mood affects whether you live in the moment or the future, the new warning labels regarding opioid use with other medications, what your choice between iPhones and Androids says about your personality, and more!

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Bullying

It Isn’t Our Fault: Being in Love with a Narcissist

Note: Although I share thoughts from personal experience and refer to the narcissist as male, narcissism is not discriminatory.

Maybe you are feeling a desperate need to try and salvage a relationship you intuitively know is unhealthy and imbalanced; or maybe you are wondering why you can’t “let go” and “move on” from the loss of your relationship. It’s possible that you are in love with a narcissist, and now owning the blame for all the sudden problems or downfall. A narcissist is someone who will enter our life and consume our entire existence all for selfish benefit. Understanding the whirlwind and accepting the finality of a relationship with a narcissist will show that we possess tremendous value.

We are smart and confident, so why did we allow ourselves to fall for the narcissist?
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General

7 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Howard Gardner argued that instead of intelligence being a single ability, humans have the ability to develop multiple intelligences, nine to be exact. Some people have a natural proficiency in emotional or interpersonal intelligence; others have difficulty with this. Although this article focuses on one type of intelligence, I suggest for each reader to practice personal insight and assess himself or herself on every intelligence scale.
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Family

Attitudinal Healing

Your attitudes support or detract from your experience when moving through life. Whether your attitude is expectant, positive, negative, neutral, simple, or complex, it drives you and shows up in your behavior. The best way to assess your position in life, your relationships, and your focus on life’s gifts or hindrances is to get to the root of your belief system, which in turn creates your attitudes.

Chances are that you learned your life attitudes from those who raised you, your parents and caregivers. Other influential people who made a strong impact on your mind and experience also factor in.
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Anger

Keep Your Cool around Hotheads

How many times in your life have you dealt with a hothead? That is someone who overreacts and flies off the handle, doing so with some degree of intensity, consistency, and predictability, typically with minimal provocation. When faced with a hothead who occasionally or repeatedly blows off steam in your direction, how do you process the behavior and keep your cool?

Once you've spent time with a hothead, you learn to expect future over-the-top reactions. Their inappropriate intensity and lack of self-control may show up in limited or multiple scenarios. You may feel uncomfortable, even fearful and embarrassed around these people. They may be aggressive, passive with explosive tendencies, unable to appropriately handle stressful triggers, or lack healthy emotional and physical outlets.

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Creativity

5 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself — No Drawing, Crafting Experience Required

Reconnecting to ourselves comes in many different shapes and stripes. For instance, for Arizona-based art therapist Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, it means solitude: being alone so she can listen to her inner needs and desires. It means expressing her creativity. One of the ways she does that is through visual arts. The visual arts help us to gain access to parts of ourselves, which might’ve been unavailable to us before, she said.

Using art lets us activate the intuitive and emotional part of our body, said Kelly Darke, ATR, M.Ed, BFA, an art therapist and professional artist in Livonia, Mich. “Creating art is cathartic, allowing you to express emotions in a safe and creative way.”
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Aging

When Men Feel Trapped: A Practical Guide

Male midlife crisis is a term used to describe a male identity crisis that occurs around midlife. Men in a midlife crisis feel trapped in an identity or lifestyle that is constraining, and they want to break out. There is a shift in their awareness of time and themselves. With a sense of only a finite amount of years left, men are grasping at a last chance for a feeling of vitality and pleasure.

This is...
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Bullying

How to Argue Respectfully in an Election Season

“He’s a friend of mine but he is so into Trump that I have to curb my urge to punch him. How could he even think that Trump should be president? I never knew he was so shallow.”

“My spouse is for Hillary. How could she be? Hillary thinks she can get away with anything. She’s such a crook. I’d love to knock some sense into my wife’s head.”

How do you handle such differences with people who you otherwise would call your friend? How can you chat with someone when you’re vehemently opposed to their political beliefs? When you do communicate, do you have to end up arguing like 4-year-olds?
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Family

3 Signs You Might Be Carrying Your Mother’s Insecurities

You may feel inadequate, filled with self-doubt, and don't know why. This may be stealing your confidence and joy in ways that are hidden to you. You may be so used to living this way you aren’t even aware that life could feel any different. Many daughters carry their mother's sense of unworthiness into their own lives without knowing it.

Behind many a demanding or controlling mother is an insecure person worrying that she will be found out, or a meek and mild wounded mother who isn’t outwardly critical but drags her daughter down in more subtle ways… never letting her fully live up to her potential.
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Brain and Behavior

How to Overcome Passivity

“He who hesitates is lost.”

This well-worn adage applies to Cautious Charlie clutching the steering wheel. If you, like Cautious Charlie, are gripped with hesitation, you aren’t driving your life. Passivity is your destination.

The world, once teeming with possibilities, closes. And so do you. Ignoring text messages and phone calls from loved ones, you retreat into self-imposed isolation. While you were once determined, passivity drains you of your trademark vigor.
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General

7 Ways to Become More Comfortable Being with Ourselves

So many of us have a hard time being alone with ourselves. Which is why we have a few glasses of wine when we’re the only one at home. It’s why we try not to be home by ourselves. It’s why we like to stay busy. It’s why we turn to all sorts of substances; anything not to think or feel or sit with ourselves.

Because, as clinical psychologist Carolyn Ferreira, Psy.D, said, “When we are still with our own thoughts and feelings, there is always the possibility that those thoughts and feelings will go to a place that we don't like.”
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