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Taming the Modern Shrew

You know the shrew type person. She (or he -- yes men can be shrew-ish too) is always criticizing something. No matter what you do, it isn’t enough or you aren’t enough to please them. Even when you think you are doing exactly what they want or exactly what they said they want, all that comes your way is either a begrudging acknowledgement or new demands that you do it differently. It’s frustrating. It’s angry-making. It’s painful.

With all due respect to Shakespeare, shrew-ness isn’t easily tamed. But when the shrew (the person who is constantly harping on you) is someone who is significant in your own life or in the life of someone you love, then it becomes really, really important to try. To completely break away from a relationship with an important shrew you would rather love often leaves a raw place that never quite heals.
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Psychology Around the Net: June 24, 2017

I conquered a fear last weekend, y'all. I went whitewater rafting for the first time. It wasn't a phobia, but the days -- and especially hours -- leading up to it...well, I was terrified. What if I fall out of the raft? Crack my skull? Get sucked into one of those underwater cave things under some rocks?

Fortunately, none of those things happened, and I'm chalking it up to two factors: One, I gave in and trusted my friends (and especially our guide), and two, I gave in and trusted myself. We couldn't control the whitewater, but we could control ourselves, and we did.

Fear and trust make for interesting bedfellows, don't they?

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The Art of Persuasion

“You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.” Michelle Carter, found guilty of manslaughter, encouraged her boyfriend over text messages to commit suicide.  

She texted him dozens of times saying things like: “You can’t keep living this way.” And, “Just do it, babe.” The messages continued for days until finally her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck.

One of the reasons this case is controversial is because Michelle Carter was not at the scene of the crime. She was put on trial for the power of her own persuasion.
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Possible Cures for Narcissistic Personalities and Behaviors

Recently there was a rare request from an honest reader who felt they have narcissistic tendencies but couldn’t find any guidelines on how to reduce these habits. I commend this reader for being aware enough to realize this and also for taking steps to ask for help!

There isn’t any behavioral malady that can’t be corrected, especially if you are aware of it. One can usually integrate opposite behaviors to remedy the imbalance.
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The Ethics of Armchair Diagnosis

When you resort to name calling, you’ve lost the argument. When you resort to diagnosing, they’ve lost credibility. Is it any wonder why non-mental health professionals are diagnosing people out of anger?  

Some people diagnose because of a disagreement. How many times have we heard a friend relay stories about his "bipolar" girlfriend after they have ended the relationship? Or what about a frustrated mother who is fed up with her son’s “ADD” when he refuses to do homework?

When someone does the opposite of what we want them to, it is tempting to label the behavior as a scientific defect. When the problem person has been labeled with a disorder, the blame is completely within their body. We, are off the hook.
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The Complex Relationship Between Personality and Happiness

Extraverts are happier, and so are the emotionally stable, personality researchers tell us. It also pays to be more open to new experiences, more agreeable, and more conscientious. What does that mean for the rest of us—the introverts, the neurotics, the disorganized?

You may recognize these personality dimensions as part of the Big Five, the traits that researchers are often referring to when they talk about personality. According to a 2008 review, the Big Five explain anywhere from 39 to 63 percent of the variation in well-being between people.

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Psychology Around the Net: May 6, 2017

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (or, "Mental Health Month"), but of course you knew that, didn't you?

Whether or not you did, Mental Health America (which started Mental Health Month way back in 1949) has provided a ton of information for individuals and organizations to help them promote mental health awareness this month. There's even a handy dandy toolkit you can download.

Go check it out and get busy this month! But before you do, check out this week's Psychology Around the Net which covers political correctness personalities, how Alzheimer's patients' caregivers can take better care of themselves, how maternal smoking does (or doesn't?) affect a child's mental health, and more.

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7 Ways to Spot a Lie

Whether you are talking to your child, a spouse, co-worker or friend, you may find yourself questioning their genuineness and wondering from time-to-time if they are telling the truth.

Whether it’s debunking a little white fib or uncovering a large-scale lie, it is important to be able to tell when people are not telling the truth.

Here are seven ways to spot a lie:
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Anxiety and Panic

Got Anxious Kids? Be Brave!

Besides being loving and patient, parents need to be brave when their children are anxious. This may be one of the most difficult things you do when you see your kids struggle. In the long run, your courage will be one of the crucial elements in helping your children overcome their anxiety. Listed below are the When, Why, and How of becoming a valiant parent everyday.

WHEN do you need to be brave?

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