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.

Soaring Love or 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.

Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance

Parenting toddlers tells us a lot about current political and social discourse. Toddler thinking is all-or-nothing, narrow and rigid, and dominated by “Mine!” and “No!”

Changing Habits

The meaning of our lives rises from what we focus on most consistently.

Anger in Marriage: Fear of Compassion

As compassion decreases, resentment and anger automatically increase. Common problems become insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment and anger inevitably turn into contempt.

Building Core Value Narratives

When personal narratives persist over time, they develop a support structure of highly reinforced habits.

I Love Me a Lot, but I Think I Should See Other People

The primary virtue of being “lovable” is that, unlike being “loved,” it’s entirely within our control. Its secondary virtue lies in the fact that being lovable greatly increases the chances of being loved, although the latter ultimately depends on how lovable other people perceive themselves, as reflected in their behavior.

Preventing Regret

What people tend to regret the most near the end of their lives is that they have not been more compassionate, loving, and supportive to those they love. A presage of this kind of regret comes with the untimely death of a loved one. The common self-doubt, even in relationships that were very close and loving, is something like: “Did she really know how much I loved her?”

Get in Touch With Your Core Value

The rewards for staying true to your deepest values are great: Authenticity, conviction, long-term wellbeing. And the reminders for violating them are terrible: guilt, shame, anxiety, regret, feeling inadequate or unlovable.

Overcoming Intimate Relationship Dynamics

You cannot be happy in love without being compassionate and kind.

Intimate Relationship Dynamics III

Many therapists greatly underestimate the power of the fear-shame dynamic or, worse, pathologize it.

The Dynamic That's Poison for Any Couple

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

How to End the Fight You Can't Remember Why You Started

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.

Why Parents Really Get Angry at Their Kids

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 and How to Begin to Recover

Everyone in an abusive family loses dignity and autonomy. You become unable to decide your own thoughts and behavior because you are living in a pattern of defensive-reaction.

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.