Intimate Relationship Dynamics Part II: Pursuer-Distancer

If the body decides that you have an addiction, the mind decides that you have an emotional need.

Intimate Relationship Dynamics

They worst thing your partner says goes into long-term memory; the worst thing you say does not. Natural selection favored recording injury we suffer more than injury we inflict.

Emotion Regulation

Before you know that you’re sad, you’re motivated to drink or eat too much. Before you know that you feel vulnerable, you’re motivated to blame, deny, or avoid. Before you know you’re ashamed, you’re motivated to seek quick adrenalin through active or passive aggression.

Anger at Our Children

Your reaction to the child's behavior depends completely on how you feel about yourself.

In Marriage, It's Compassion or Resentment

Marriages die a slow death from too little compassion. Most marriages end in a whimper, not a bang.

Anger Problems

It is nearly impossible to understand other people's perspectives when angry or resentful. You're bound to oversimplify and see only the negative aspects of something.

Living With a Resentful or Angry Partner

The biggest challenge of living with a resentful or angry person is to keep from becoming one yourself. The high contagion and reactivity of resentment and anger are likely to make you into someone you are not.

Why It's So Easy to Hurt the Ones We Love

Everyone who loves another is susceptible to some form of emotional or verbal abuse, by virtue of the Mirror of Love.

What Drives Emotional Abuse in Relationships

Everyone in an abusive family loses dignity and autonomy. You become unable to decide your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior, because you are living in a rigid pattern of defensive-reaction that runs largely on automatic pilot.

Anger Management Failures about "Healthy" Anger

Anger in all animals carries a powerful motivation to prevail, dominate, or retaliate.

Anger Management Failures

Anger management fails for the same reason that diets don’t work.

Part II: Communication is Not about Techniques

There is almost always a hidden agenda in the use of communication techniques. When people are emotionally disconnected, communication techniques makes them feel manipulated.

4 Ways to Disarm Jealousy

Obsessive thinking is inevitably inaccurate.

Jealousy, Simple and Complex

Simple jealousy functions in many adult relationships as a kind of distance-regulator. When the partners drift apart, the pang of jealousy motivates more attention and connecting behavior.

Don’t Worry About What to Say

There is almost always a hidden agenda in the use of communication techniques.

Do Your Habits Control the Meaning of Your Life?

To change the meaning of our lives, we must change our habits.

How to Become the Person You Most Want to Be

Those who feel compelled to defend their egos tend to violate their deeper values

Wellbeing Depends on Valuing Others

For lasting wellbeing, spend a few minutes a day trying to make the world a little better.

How to Keep People From Bringing Out the Worst in You

Reactaholism is the major addiction of our times. The others tend to start as attempts to ease the chronic powerlessness of reactaholism.

Feeling Powerful vs. Being Powerful

Most anger and resentment are attempts to feel powerful at the cost of being powerful.

Anger and Vulnerability

In the heat of ego defense, truth is the first casualty.

What’s Good about Equality?

Whenever we apply macro analyses to individuals, we deal in stereotypes. When we reduce others to stereotypes we become one ourselves.

Successful Weight Loss for the Holidays or Anytime

No weight control program can succeed by dominating your consciousness with food and weight. A successful program must develop a conditioned response to regulate eating automatically, without having to "stop and think about it." The trick is to condition the core hurt (inadequacy or unworthiness that makes you want to overeat) to stimulate core value - a sense of yourself

Why You Need to Change How You Think About Your Relationship

Falling in love made you a better person, more appreciative, caring, loving, compassionate, and tolerant.

How Do You Regulate Emotions Under Stress?

External regulation of emotions is a no-win venture, even if you go about it through seduction rather than coercion. It’s just too hard to regulate an internal system by controlling external conditions. That’s like a thermostat trying to keep it comfortable in the room by blowing warm or cool air around the outside perimeter of the building.

How We Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Negative feelings can’t last, unless we try to justify them.

Regret Prevention

People near the end of life tend to regret not having been more compassionate and loving to those they love.

The Fear-Shame Dynamic

We've perverted the natural function of aggression in social animals, which is secondarily self-protection but primarily protection of loved ones. (You'll get more aggressive if I attack your wife or children than if I attack you.) Now aggression primarily protects the ego, not loved ones.

The Power to Create Value and Meaning

All alarm systems, negative feelings included, are calibrated to give false positives. You don’t want a smoke alarm that doesn’t go off until the house is in flames; you want it to go off when there’s just a little smoke. The Toddler brain functions as if the smoke alarm is the fire, instead of a signal that a fire might possibly exist.

The Struggle to Balance Our Two Minds

We feel more autonomous, authentic, empowered, and able to form meaningful adult connections when true to our most humane values.

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