Can You See Yourself as Good Only by Seeing Yourself as Bad?

All children need—and desperately—to establish a secure bond with their caretakers. After all, absent such a vital connection, how can they not feel anxious and apprehensive?

Why Do Men Find Women’s Legs So Alluring?

Researchers have spent far less time studying men’s attraction to women’s legs than the typical man devotes to gazing at them . . . and maybe finding himself spellbound by them.

Life—Best Taken With Salt and Pepper

Do you “savor” your life as much as possible?

The Curse of Apathy: Sources and Solutions

What causes the feeling of non-feeling?

When Your Partner’s 'Caring' Feels More Like Controlling

Though behaviors routinely labeled “controlling” are hardly devoid of self-interest, they can’t be seen simply as acts of aggression against one’s partner either.

Outrage and Outrageousness: On Trump’s Popularity, Part 4

Although many people have described Trump's language as condescending, combative, or bullying, its aggressiveness doesn’t at all turn off his devoted followers. How come?

Outrage and Outrageousness: On Trump's Popularity, Part 3

What’s the nature of Donald Trump's devoted followers—who hardly flinch at the extreme positions he takes, or the strident put-downs or insults he’s so frequently guilty of?

Outrage and Outrageousness: On Trump’s Popularity, Part 2

Part 2: How--in protest--the hurts, fears, and hatreds of Donald Trump's followers have prompted them to espouse The Donald as their vengeful hero.

Outrage and Outrageousness: The Secret to Trump's Popularity

This post will try to make some coherent sense of why so many people who are furious with the current direction of this country now look to "the Donald" to vindicate them.

“I’m Not Angry—But I Still Think You’re Being Unfair”

Anger. It’s the emotion that goes with self-righteous indignation. It’s also the most “moralistic” of emotions, for it’s rooted in your sense of fairness—or rather, unfairness.

What's So Fascinating About the Letter "X"?

Because it’s been employed in so many fields—from algebra, to genetics, to aerospace, to sex and spirituality—X’s many meanings make it the most mystifying letter of the alphabet.

Anger: When Adults Act Like Children—and Why

Crying conveys hurt. But what's frequently not recognized is that getting mad—in reaction to a perceived threat or injustice—is a desperate attempt to mask or minimize that hurt.

What Secret Male Sexual Fantasy Is Surprisingly Common?

Traditionally, men whose wives have cheated on them have been scorned and stigmatized. So why have stories, images, and videos of so-called “cuckold sex” become so popular?

Seriously—Do You Have Someone Else’s Conscience?

The question posed in this post’s title may sound almost nonsensical. How could you possibly be a victim of another’s conscience? Still, ask yourself: Is your super-ego tyrannical?

The Fascinating Dynamics of Dread

If what you’re anticipating is something you dread, your anxiety over it can be nerve-wracking. Say, you’re on pins and needles to find out the results of your recent MRI. . . .

4 Key Reasons Grandmas Act Differently With Their Grandkids

My 30+ years as a therapist has led me to a curious conclusion about families: namely, that grandparents find it much easier to love their grandchildren unconditionally than . . .

2 Keys for Conquering Your Worst Case Scenarios

Sometimes our imaginations make our fears feel horrifyingly real. How can we counter this common tendency?

Want to Avoid Blow-Ups With Your Partner? Here's How

It’s hard to think of anything more crucial to your relationships—including the all-important one with yourself—than the awareness of what words and deeds set you and others off.

Why—With Humans—It’s All So Complicated

In relationships, all is relative. How could it not be when our perceptions of others are "preordained” by so many different factors. . . .

Might You Suffer from Reverse Paranoia?

As odd a phenomenon as "reverse paranoia" may seem, many writers have weighed in on this controversial concept. For it can be seen either as a valuable asset or, on the contrary...

3 Ways to Be Happy in Unrequited Love

By definition, an unreturned love is one-sided. But doubtless, the experience itself embodies two sides. On the upside, you’re enthralled, charmed, and captivated by the beloved. Your passion for them is exhilarating: an incomparable high. Regrettably, the downside of such ardor is every bit as intense—replete with agonizing feelings of loneliness, misery, and despair...

Do You Defend Your Partner’s Defenses? Here's Why You Should

We all need our psychological defenses. They protect us from experiencing an otherwise disturbing anxiety. Or an ancient sense of inferiority, or shame that may go all the way back to childhood—and that we’ve never managed to fully resolve. So when we talk about getting our buttons pushed, it’s about someone’s (however accidentally) triggering these uncomfortable feelings.

What If Your Most Cherished Ideals Collide?

Being true to yourself is all well and good. It certainly sounds crucial. But there are times when doing so is far easier said than done. For one of your most treasured ideals may not always jibe with another. In such instances you can find yourself, almost literally, torn in two—simultaneously trying to honor both these seminal values when they’re mutually exclusive....

Compromise Made Simple: 7 Handy Tips for Couples

Even if you marry the person of your dreams—the “one of all ones”—you still won’t live happily ever after. Humans that we are, we inevitably run into problems when our wants and needs don’t match our mate’s. And unless we become skilled in the fine art of compromise, in such situations our relationship can quickly degrade into feelings of dissatisfaction and discontent.

The Complex Emotion of Courage: Do You Really Understand It?

To most of us, courage is little more than confronting a dangerous situation without flinching. The individual exhibits valor and bravery: is assured, fearless, undaunted. Doubtless, we view courage as what heroes are made of. But, to begin to question the many conventional assumptions surrounding this attribute, let’s take a look at the following quote . . .

Kim Davis, Pope Francis, and the Moral Ambiguity of Courage

Exactly what was so compelling about Kim Davis’ court case that Pope Francis would squeeze her into his already crowded U.S. visit? On the surface at least, Davis’ illegally defiant behavior as a county clerk in Kentucky would hardly seem exemplary. Yet many have staunchly defended her--while others have contested her fundamentalist ideas about religious liberty.

Courage in Relationships: Conquering Vulnerability and Fear

It’s a profound—and paradoxical—truth that courage isn’t really courage at all unless there’s some fear attached to it. Without a moment’s hesitation before taking on something felt as hazardous, the act would exemplify not so much courage as foolhardiness or mindless impulsivity. As Mark Twain put it: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear."

Yogi Berra’s Mis-Quotes: Why They’re So Comically Endearing

On the advent of Yogi Berras’ passing this week at the age of 90, it seemed fitting for me to pay tribute to him here. But not so much for his being a sterling Hall of Fame catcher who helped lead his beloved Yankees to ten World Series victories, as for his wacky but so “winning” malapropisms—which over the years have delighted millions. . . .

What Does It Mean When We Stick Our Tongues Out?

Questions relating to sticking out one's tongue can be surprisingly complicated. For its meaning in babies and children may be quite different from adults doing the same thing. And there are so many nuances to it: Is the tongue sticking straight out? to the left? right? hanging down? curled? And what’s the accompanying facial expression and context in which it occurs? ...

Does Conditional Self-Acceptance Keep You From Being Happy?

Do you have a tendency to disavow compliments? Deny credit if what you accomplished was done with minimal effort? Or might you attribute your successes more to luck than to social skills, intelligence, or innate gifts? If any of these characterizations applies to you, you’re probably preventing yourself from experiencing what all of us most desire.