The Art of High-Stakes Psychological Diagnosis Pt. 2

When diagnosing or name-calling, call out the behavior and speculate carefully about the possible motivations for it or you'll get mired in debate over the motivations.

The Art of High-Stakes Psychological Diagnosis Pt 1

Don't let your gut impulses decide how you diagnose people's problems. It will only make the problems worse. Be careful, patient, expansive and strategic instead.

A Holiday Game For Talking Politics

Here's the first draft of a game designed to be challenging, honest, respectful, and fair that anyone serious about their moral principles should be happy to play.

Taking and Giving Offense for the Fun of It

Taking and giving offense is sometimes necessary and sometimes just a way of alleviating self-doubt. We should keep this distinction in mind.

Why Trump Won and What Psychology Says We Can Do About It

Drop the moral outrage. It's not working. They're not doing politics or morality, they're pretending to be infallible and invincible, and it's working – for now. Try this instead.

"It's the Psychology, Stupid!"

Trump pretended to be invincible. He never lost a face-to-face interaction. Invincibility sells. Maybe that more than anything else won him the election.

Writing on the Wall or Red Herring?

We're all making educated guesses about what will and won't make a positively or negatively significant difference. No one knows for certain because no one can. Life is uncertain.

The Gloataholics’ Binge Continues

Winaholics are people so addicted to feeling right and righteous that they'll turn everything upside down to feel that way.

What Kind of Categorizer Are You?

Some people act as though distinctions are obvious. Others explore for how to make them as distinct as possible.

The “Lesser of Two Evils” Fallacy

If you treat all disappointing choices as choosing the lesser of "evils" you're likely to end up with real evil.

Is It a Circumstantial Setback or a Conspiracy Against You?

Sometimes they're out to get you, sometimes it just hard circumstances. We do better when we attend to the difference.

Practical Pig Wrestling

What's the best way to deal with people who are just out to prove you wrong? Here's a plan. You'll need one if you want to stay out of the traps they'll set for you.

Will Trolls Inherit The Earth?

Trolls take cheap shots, any easy path to attack and self-defense. There's a troll epidemic now. Here's a possible historical explanation for their risky rise.

The Cheap Shot Use of "You Don't Know That For Certain!"

To feel right always, diagnose anyone who disagrees with you as suffering from bias and self-certainty. Perform an intervention and start treatment immediately.

In Practical Praise of Romance

Care a lot about being considerate? It can make you defensive when you fear that you've disappointed someone. Part of the solution is romantic reassurances.

Deciding When to Demand Change

They say, "Stand strong. Don't lower your standards" and "Accept reality. Don't fight it." Just rarely in the same breath. The Serenity Prayer shows how to handle these opposites.

The Formula!

Here's the real secret, passed down through generations of tyrants and self-proclaimed infallible know-it-alls.

When You’re of Two Minds, Admit It

Is integrity being consistent or is it being honest about your inconsistency? It's both and the latter matters more.

How To Minimize Drama

Drama is a drag on any relationship, but what is it and how does it arise? Here's a roadmap with the pitfalls marked so you can avoid them.

Unwavering and Too Proud of It

Don't mistake poor impulse control for uncompromising principle.

Calm-onomics: The Everyday Economics of Stress Prevention

Life is an inherently anxious affair. This creates high demand for ways to keep anxiety at bay. Here's a behavioral-economic analysis of demand for and supply of ways to stay calm.

Ironic Faith: A Healthy Coping Strategy

An eye-opening trip to Indonesia teaches radical co-existence through ironic, stress-reducing faith.

Clear-Weather Friends

Fair-weather friends abandon you when you're down. Clear-weather friends abandon you when you want to get down into problems with the friendship.

A Different Approach to Political Divisiveness

Confusing ourselves to diffuse our political tensions.

Fear of Inadequacy and What to Do About It

More than we notice, we're driven by fear of inadequacy. Here's the way to manage it.

That Other Kind of Time Management

More than we notice, we'd like to stop time, to live forever or at least to have our eternal truths live forever.

The Highest Priority Common Core

We all need to learn how to practice evenhanded rhetoric and critical thinking, to be able, like a trial lawyer, to make a persuasive case for or against any argument.

Random Acts of Kindness Can Be Dangerous

To maximize your capacity for empathy and compassion, don't automatically move toward charity.

Popular Sociopathways

Some of us act like life is war, no room for negotiation, as if we won't survive unless we compete as aggressively as possible. How do we get like this? And could it happen to you?

Debate Like It's 2028

Debates aren't won in the present but the future when outcomes are revealed. Here's a quick tip on how to shift a debate's focus to the future and what really counts.

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