All About Personality

Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: can people change? How do others perceive me? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? One's personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: it is hard to assess our own personality, and impossible to overlook that of others.

Recent posts on Personality

Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust, Part I

The Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust Series explores the impact of early childhood relationships on the establishment of intimacy in adulthood.

Separation Theory

Early interpersonal pain, separation anxiety, and death anxiety lead to the formation of powerful psychological defenses that limit a person’s capacity for living and feeling.

How to Change Passive Aggressive Behavior

Is a passive aggressive person causing you to feel angry and exhausted? The skill of Benign Confrontation can help you make long-term changes to this destructive dynamic.

Help Rejecting, Complaining Victims of Troublesome Spouses

How should you respond to a friend who is always complaining to you about their mate, but rejects any suggestion you make to them about how to handle their relationship?

Counseling a Person With a Multiple Personality Disorder

Dissociation is a coping mechanism. A person literally dissociates himself from a situation that's too violent, traumatic or painful to assimilate with his conscious self.

12 Ways of Seeing Your Entanglement With a Narcissist

Seeing patterns objectively—yours and the narcissist's—is as important as acknowledging your feelings.

If I Can't Have You, No One Can

How can we predict who will kill someone s/he once loved? Look at the dark clouds in the relationship to predict storms after a breakup.

The Secret Life of Procrastinators and the Stigma of Delay

Rather than shame procrastinators for the way they get things done, instead let's understand motivational style differences.

How Likely Is Your Partner to Cheat on You?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on August 14, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Are you concerned your partner may be seeing someone else when you've agreed to be exclusive? Researchers continue to study infidelity to better understand when and how it happens.

What is the Fascination With the Upcoming Solar Eclipse?

By Lori Russell-Chapin Ph.D. on August 13, 2017 in Brain Waves
How might this solar eclipse help us in the understanding of ourselves and our shadow?

The Psychopathology of Shakespeare’s Most Evil Villains

And thus I clothe my naked villainy / With odd old ends stol'n forth of holy writ, / And seem a saint when most I play the devil. — Richard III

Beware: On a First Date, Red Flags Can Look Red Hot

Beware dangerous liaisons. On a first date, exciting, assertive people perceived as desirable might be dangerous. Get to know prospective partners before getting involved.

Personality and Potential Nuclear Confrontation

By Ian H. Robertson Ph.D. on August 12, 2017 in The Stress Test
The possible catastrophe of nuclear war rests on the psychology of just two men
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The Truth About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Have you ever wondered, “Isn’t everybody a bit narcissistic?” Learn the difference between healthy self-esteem and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

An In-depth Analysis of the Crisis at Google

The crisis at Google in the wake of the Damore memo controversy is an unfortunate symptom of our hyperpolarized society. This post explains how to understand it and move forward.

Who's More Emotionally Intelligent, and Does Gender Matter?

Are women really poorly suited for careers in tech? One Google engineer’s claims got him fired. The facts based on personality research prove that Google made the right decision.
Trinity Kubassek/Pexels

Better Living Through Empathy

Want to better exercise your empathy muscle? Here are some tips.
(c) Stevemc

What Is Mental Illness? Does Trump Have One?

When the term "mentally ill" is used to describe President Trump, is the term being used appropriately?
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The Psychoanalytic Mind: Alive and Well

By Paul Siegel Ph.D. on August 10, 2017 in Freud Lives
Freud may be dead, but science is giving his ideas new life.

Why Are Some Children Picky Eaters?

New research suggests that children who are inhibited are less likely to try new foods.

The Hazards of Self-Criticism

Bashing the self is bad for your health.
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Deep Listening in Personal Relationships

By Diana Raab PhD on August 09, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Are you trying to get to a deeper level with your personal relationships? Do you want to know how to become a better listener?

Does a Person "Break Bad"?

Let's examine the premise of a smash hit entertainment series.

On That Google Memo About Sex Differences

Are sex differences in personality real? A response to the Google memo.

How Smart Should a Leader Be?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 07, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Is it possible for a leader to be too smart? New research suggests that the link between intelligence and perceived leadership may be more complicated than you might think.

Less Labeling, More Understanding

He's probably not a narcissist, and you probably aren't being gaslighted. When can we start dealing with human behavior on its own terms?

I'm Not In The Mood

We all wake up to a new day. The question is, will our mood for the day control how the day goes or do we control the mood. What will be your mood for the day? Happy or grumpy?
adamkuylenstierna/Twenty20

Why Socializing Drains Introverts More Than Extroverts

There are some very real differences between introverts and extroverts, and these differences come down to how they respond to rewards.

Why You Didn't Get What You Needed from Narcissistic Parents

The effects of emotional neglect by narcissistic parents are particularly pernicious and difficult to acknowledge, let alone overcome.

Imperfection Makes Celebrities (and All of Us) More Likable

By Christopher Bergland on August 05, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
The attractiveness of imperfection is called the Pratfall Effect. Buddhists realized that imperfection is a beautiful thing eons ago. Justin Bieber recently had the same epiphany.