Basic Humanity and Well-Being

Anxious times seem to bring out the worst in people. It makes us intolerant of disagreement, divides us into factions, and leads us to demonize those who seem different.

How to Cope With Trump Anxiety

If you’ve been nervous or anxious since the election, you’re not alone.

Emotional Complexity

A few of the elements that make emotions so complicated are habituation, inhibition, constriction, and disinhibition/excitement.

Overcoming Headline Stress Disorder

Continual alerts from news sources, blogs, social media, and alternative facts feel like missile explosions in a siege without end.

The Emotions of Social Interaction

While we are quite sensitive to negative emotional displays of those with whom we interact, we’re hardly sensitive at all to our own.

Emotions in the Social World

Our emotions are automatic responses to the emotional states of others.

Meaning and Emotions

Emotion, personal history, culture, religion, and historical moment heavily influence the brain’s construction of meaning, and these, of course, are often in conflict.

Dynamic Attributes of Emotion

Certain attributes of emotions dynamically influence how we experience them and the meaning we give to them.

The Function of Emotions

Some writers conflate the motivation of emotions, which is largely outside awareness, with conscious goals and intentions.

Crimes Against the Self

The aspect of emotional reactivity that makes it difficult to see is its illusion of free will. We think that we're acting of our own volition, when we’re merely reacting.

How We Commit

Committing to a relationship requires establishing a secure base and resolving any problems that threaten its security, safety, and well-being.

Struggle for a Sense of Humanity

The fight to hold onto a sense of humanity inner voices of conflict, powered by covert guilt and shame. In most of us, these voices are faint. In some they bellow.

Passionate Surrender

Fear of passionate surrender is rooted in an underdeveloped sense of self. Passionate surrender is a joyous function of a fully realized adult brain.

Human Intimacy

Few human endeavors are as rewarding and as frightening as acts of intimacy.

Acting Out of Conviction vs. Acting Out of Resentment

Conviction is the strong belief that a behavior is right, moral, and consistent with your deeper values. Like resentment, conviction provides a sense of certainty.

More Ways Couples Misunderstand Each Other III

The very familiarity that makes us feel secure in love relationships reduces novelty and interest. Fortunately, we can deliberately activate interest at any time.

Different Core Vulnerabilities in Intimate Partners

Your core vulnerability is the emotional state that is most dreadful to you, in reaction to which you’ve developed the strongest defenses.

How Couples Misunderstand Each Other

A heart-breaking experience of counseling couples is seeing good people suffer due to the entirely avoidable illusion of sameness.

Self-Value Crowds Out Resentment

Couples in recovery have to learn that it’s not their “issues” that make them resentful. When partners feel valued in a negotiation, issues become far more easily manageable.

Dies Irae: The Day of Wrath

Personal responsibility is one of the most compelling needs of modern times. As a culture we’re stuck on a treadmill of Toddler brain coping mechanisms: blame, denial, avoidance.

Complaints in Love Relationships

The success or failure of complaints in love relationships depends on which part of the brain controls the complaint.

Original Sin

We are capable of extraordinary acts of compassion and kindness and astonishing acts of cruelty and neglect.

How Racists Can Soar Above Their Affliction

Racist attitudes alienate us from a sense of basic humanity, which makes us more likely to perceive insult and feel devalued, exert power, and justify it with presumed superiority.

How We All Contribute to Terrorism

Loss of attachment or emotional bonds gouges holes in the heart that do not remain hollow for very long.

How Compassion Fades in Love Relationships

In love relationships, negative emotions almost always feel different on the inside from the way they look on the outside.

At the Gates of Commitment, Leave Illusions Behind

The biggest mistake we make in love is assuming that our partners' experience is the same as ours and that events and behaviors mean the same to them as they do to us.

Will It Be Soaring Love or a Plodding Relationship?

Soaring love transcends the limits of emotional habits and helps us become the most empowered and humane partners we can be.

How We Shoot Ourselves in the Foot Again and Again

We can repeatedly shoot ourselves in the foot for one simple reason. Under stress, we tend to retreat to habits of emotion regulation formed as far back as toddlerhood.

Do You Suffer From Election Stress Disorder?

Political campaigns are designed to exploit bias rather than expose it. But how do candidates seem so certain about enormously complex problems?

Toddler Brain Politics

If you want to have fun watching political debates, which is better than throwing a temper tantrum or dropping into an abyss of despair, count the toddler brain comments.

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