Happiness on Purpose

Strategies to create a life you love to live

Happiness With Others 5: Expect Misbehavior

We do not live among saints or angels, but, alas, among flesh and blood people with feet of clay. To get along with them, and get as much happiness from them as possible, we’d better get real and expect them to misbehave. Read More

First off, I'm astounded that

First off, I'm astounded that both you and your son had the ability to interact as you did; he, calling you out on your silliness, and you accepting your silliness. That alone should tell you that you did a lot right as a parent. However, trying to dull the anger with a calming salve of gratitude is good as far as it goes, but the heart of the matter is understanding why we have the expectations in the first place. I fear dealing with angry reactions in this way could easily veer into positive psychology territory--a system which ultimately does more harm than good. But recognizing there is a problem--a feat beyond the bulk of humanity--is a huge first step.

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Russell Grieger, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, an organizational consultant and trainer, and an adjunct professor at The University of Virginia.

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