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Why Girls Fall for Bad Boys

Sometimes, the nice guys out there may have a disadvantage when it comes to the opposite sex. Why? Girls often initially flock to the guys who aren’t the most courteous or kind.

This may happen because girls are frequently told early in childhood that if a guy teases or berates, it’s because he actually feels quite the opposite -- he’s acting mean because he's interested. And with that, a spark is ignited.

Girls misread certain unfriendly vibes as interest, and therefore yearn to track down their attention.

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Video: I Can’t Stop Thinking About my Ex

We get more than a few letters here at Psych Central regarding people still having feelings for their ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-husband or ex-wife. This seems to be a common obsession that people have -- what would my life had been like if I had only stayed with them?

"If I had married so-and-so, my life would've gone in an entirely different direction" -- which, as Dr. Marie notes, of course it would've.

What happens when we keep one foot out of our current relationship?

Find out in the video below.

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7 Ideas for Being Kinder to Yourself

Imagine for a minute that your best friend, partner, parent or child had a horrific day. Maybe they made a mistake at work. Maybe they got very little sleep. Maybe stressors seem to be striking from every angle. Maybe they struggle with sadness or anxiety.

Either way, they’re devastated. What do you do?

No doubt you sprint to console them. You hug them, and ask them what they need. You listen, and empathize. You might even crack a joke just to make them smile.

Now how would you react if the person hurting were you? Would you acknowledge your pain, and figure out how to help yourself? Would you be just as kind and empathetic?

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Are You a Sexual Grownup?

It can be uncomfortable to talk honestly about our own relationship with sex. It can be uncomfortable to even think honestly about our own relationship with sex.

As result, while many of us have developed into healthy adults in our careers and in our roles as parents or friends, we are stuck when it comes to sex.

Contemplating the idea of entering into our own sexual minds can cause fear and anxiety. There is religious, cultural, and familial judgment and persecution for being direct and honest about sex. There can be fear of facing parts of ourselves that we don’t understand and fear of exposing things about ourselves that feel wrong or shameful. There is understandable reluctance about going back into painful or upsetting sexual experiences from our past.

There is also a natural aversion to looking directly at our own sex lives.

So how can you be more grownup when thinking about your sexuality?

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Can a Mirror Make You Behave Better? 5 Tips for Boosting Self-Control

Self-control is very valuable, and most of us are eager to boost our self-mastery. One of the best ways, it turns out, is through monitoring.

The more aware we are of what we’re actually doing -- not what we wish we were doing, or imagine that we’re doing -- the more control we can exert over ourselves. Monitoring dramatically boosts our self-awareness, and self-awareness is a key to self-mastery.

Monitoring has an almost uncanny power. People who keep close track of just about anything tend to do a better job with it, in key categories such as eating, drinking, exercising, working, TV- and internet-use, and spending.

In fact, in some studies, the mere presence of a mirror -- which allowed people literally to watch over themselves -- made them more likely to behave in a more upright way.

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First-Class Responses to Second-Class Putdowns

Wouldn't it be great if people went out of their way to appreciate what you did right instead of berating you for what you did wrong? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if people nixed their insults, squelched their criticisms and, instead, supported and encouraged you? Before you interrupt my starry-eyed fantasy, let me enjoy my moment of reverie.

Okay, micro-vacation over. Back to reality, where people blame and criticize all the time -- and that’s on their good days! On their bad days, they throw in insults, curses, ridicule and humiliation.

When you’re on the receiving end of such put-downs, how should you respond?

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Children and Teens

Judge Rotenberg Center: One Patient’s Story

The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) is a controversial treatment facility right here in my home state of Massachusetts that uses a form of electroshock therapy in order to "treat" developmentally disabled teens and adults in its care. It's one-of-a-kind in the nation for its aggressive use of shock therapy -- ala B.F. skinner and rats from the 1960s.

Last month, the Center received a warning letter about the continued unauthorized use of "adulterated" shock devices, called GEDs (for Graduated Electronic Decelerators). The Center is the only treatment facility in the country that uses these self-manufactured devices.

They were approved for their intended use by the FDA in 1995. However, since at least 2008, the Center has been using revised versions of these devices -- GED3A and GED4 -- that deliver higher electrical charges. The FDA has told the Center -- repeatedly -- that these new versions need to undergo additional testing to demonstrate their safety (especially a concern, given the higher voltage levels the devices reportedly deliver).

And yet, for over four years, the Center has simply ignored the FDA and continues to use the devices -- against the FDA's rules and directives.

Meanwhile, patients in the Center's care continue -- every day -- to be shocked against their will. Here is one patient's story.

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Women and ADHD: What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Even today, between work and home, women have a lot to juggle. “Though in recent years, men have been more hands-on with household and childcare responsibilities, the bulk of the work still, for many, lands on the woman's shoulders,” said Terry Matlen, ACSW, a psychotherapist and author of Survival Tips for Women with ADHD.

Whether you have kids or not, balancing a slew of commitments can get overwhelming for women with ADHD, said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and author of several books on ADHD, including 10 Simple Solutions to Adult ADD. That’s because the nature of ADHD makes it tougher to prioritize and schedule, she said.

And, unfortunately, it's common for women with ADHD to beat themselves up for not getting things done. Many women feel incapable and struggle with low self-esteem, Matlen said. “Women with ADHD are well aware of their shortcomings, but often they don't understand [them] in the context of their ADHD brain."

Here, Matlen and Sarkis, who both have ADHD, offer their tips for coping with overwhelm when you have the disorder.

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Anxiety and Panic

Using Mindfulness to Treat Anxiety Disorders

An anxiety disorder is much more than being very nervous or edgy.

An anxious person will report an unreasonable exaggeration of threats, repetitive negative thinking, hyper-arousal, and a strong identification with fear. The fight-or-flight response kicks into overdrive.

Anxiety is also known for producing noticeable physical symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and digestive problems. In General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) the symptoms become so severe that normal daily functioning becomes impossible.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common treatment for anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy theorizes that in anxiety disorders, the patient overestimates the danger of disruptive events in his life, and underestimates his ability to cope. CBT attempts to replace maladaptive thinking by examining the patient’s distorted thinking and resetting the fight-or-flight response with more reasonable, accurate ones. The anxious person and the therapist work to actively change thought patterns.

In contrast, instead of changing thoughts, mindfulness-based therapies (MBTs) seek to change the relationship between the anxious person and his or her thoughts.

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Improve Kids’ Behavior: Catch Them Being Good

If you’re a parent, educator or someone who works with kids in some other capacity, you know how frustrating and challenging it can be when a child misbehaves.

At school, teachers face varying forms of misbehavior: A child may wander around the classroom when he is supposed to be working at his desk, or talk out of turn when she is supposed to raise her hand. 

Parents often confront issues such as siblings squabbling at dinnertime, or children whining or throwing tantrums when they don’t get their way.

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5 Ways to Enhance Your Relationship Every Day

The everyday -- filled with its supposedly inconsequential interactions and circumstances -- is actually quite consequential when it comes to romantic relationships.

That’s because relationships are cumulative, said Nikki Massey-Hastings, Psy.D, a psychotherapist who specializes in couples. “Each seemingly insignificant daily interaction with one's partner builds upon the interactions from yesterday, last week, and last year... for better or worse.”

A couple with a history of loving interactions and success solving daily problems is more likely to have a securely attached relationship, Massey-Hastings said.

And that’s a great thing. Couples with a secure attachment are able to rely on each other, turn to each other for comfort and traverse potentially tough times, she noted.

In other words, positive daily interactions create buffers against future challenges.

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