The Narcissist's Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . .

‭When criticized, narcissists show themselves woefully incapable of retaining any emotional poise, or receptivity. And it really doesn't much matter whether the nature of that criticism is constructive or destructive. . . .

Why We Hide Emotional Pain

Who hasn't had the experience of asking someone whether anything is wrong--for it's blatantly obvious from their expression or tone of voice that they're upset--only to have them respond: "No, I'm fine."?

The True Spirit of Reverse Psychology

Whenever I see something on reverse psychology, I'm compelled to review it. After all, I once published a comprehensive therapist's guidebook called Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy. So when I first read Jim Afremow's PT post, I thought it must be some sort of (ill-timed) April Fools' joke. . . .

Fear-Inspired Sex: A Woman's Ultimate Defense--or Weapon?

Having worked with couples for over 30 years, I've often observed a phenomenon that goes against just about everything therapists have to say about women and sex. And what ‘s that? Perhaps Billy Crystal said it best . . .

The Past: Don't Dwell on It, Revision It! Part 2

Revisiting bygone times to "revision" them differs dramatically from simply dwelling on them. For the process of revisioning the past is mostly about reperceiving it in a way that helps correct present deficiencies in your self-image.

The Past: Don't Dwell on It, Revision It! Part 1

Rarely is dwelling on the past seen in a positive light. Nor should it be. Thinking too much about times gone by typically keeps your mind--and life--stuck in neutral (and maybe even shifts it into reverse). . . .

Selfish vs. Self-ish: What's the Really BIG Difference?

No question but that the whole notion of selfishness is devoid of positive connotation. Arguing that it warrants being viewed as virtuous (as does Ayn Rand) is, finally, about as convincing as Gordon Gekko's egomaniacal affirmation that "greed is good."

The Paradox of Anger: Strength or Weakness?

When you get mad,‭ ‬your throat is roused and your voice gets louder.‭ ‬Inside, you feel a certain indescribable strength.‭ L‬iterally (or,‭ ‬I should say,‭ ‬biochemically), the emotion does in fact‭ "‬empower‭" ‬you. But such chemically manufactured strength is mostly illusory. . . .

Cold People: What Makes Them That Way? Part 2

In response to feeling emotionally disconnected from their primary caregiver, a baby's psychological defense mechanisms relate mostly to their efforts to protect themselves from the painful sting of rejection.

Cold People: What Makes Them That Way? Part 1

Doubtless, you've had the experience of interacting with someone who was--we'll say--"off-puttingly stand-offish." Detached, seemingly preoccupied, and not at all open or friendly, they seemed to hold you at a distance. . .

Wittiest Sex Quotes Ever

Witty sex quotes--especially those that beguile us into laughing at ourselves--deserve our (at least) "quasi-serious" attention. To maintain our psychological balance, it's essential we let ourselves chuckle over all the incongruities, inconsistencies, and flat-out contradictions related to what may be our favorite pastime.

When Life's Unfair: How to Deal with Fines for Being Alive

You're minding your own business. Taken all due precautions. Haven't had any mental lapse. Been responsible and conscientious. Certainly, haven't hurt anyone, or done anything wrong. In a word, you're innocent. Then, dutifully following a traffic signal, you stop at a light that's just turned red, and are promptly rear-ended...

What Distinguishes Erotica from Pornography?

Even though many people regard these two orientations to depicting human sexuality as overlapping (and some even as identical), I see them as existing on essentially different planes. In this brief--and, I'm sure, controversial--essay, I'll attempt to explain why. . . .

Is Anger Management Really a "Flawed Concept"?

As someone with a clinical specialty in anger control for some 25 years, I feel compelled to take exception to several simplistic points made in a recent post by fellow blogger, Stanton E. Samenow.

"Corporpathology": A New Type of Collective Psychosis?

Labeling corporations "psychotic" (as does David Niose in a recent post) inadvertently insults those who've been afflicted by such a serious mental disorder. (And Niose is admonished by fellow blogger, Scott Barry Kaufman, for this). Here, I'd like to suggest a middle ground for looking at the excesses--or major ethical failings--in today's corporate system.

Is Cannibalism in Our DNA? Part 3 of 3

Whether Christian or not, almost everyone knows that in eating the wafer and drinking the wine during Holy Communion communicants are presumably eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. . . .

Is Cannibalism in Our DNA? Part 2 of 3

The literature on cannibalism includes over 50 books and about 1000 websites rife with examples of its practice. Anthropologists and archeologists have actually been able to scientifically trace its existence back as far as the Neanderthals. . . .

Is Cannibalism in Our DNA? Part 1 of 3

Can it be mere coincidence that our lexicon is teeming with cannibalistic metaphors? Whether it's in the diction of anger or aggression, sex or love, it's almost impossible not to figuratively employ such flesh-rending or flesh-consuming terminology. . . .

The Pursuit of Happiness--Or the Quest for Wealth

If in fact happiness is conceived in monetary terms, then the more money gained, the more material objects acquired, the closer you are to reaching this most enviable of goals. Right? Hardly! As ironic as it may seem, pursuing happiness materialistically is a goal that's not reachable--ever. . . .

Child Self? Adult Self?--Who's Running the Show?

 When the adult part of you is in charge, your thinking is governed not by emotion but reason. Your behaviors are prudent: assertive yet restrained. But when your child self is running the show, the daily drama of your life plays out in markedly different fashion. . . . 

Love Quotes: The Wisest, Wittiest . . . and Most Cynical

 Having reviewed 100s of quotations on the wonders--and woes--of romantic love, here are some that I think are the very best. At the same time that they celebrate the many joys of romantic--almost fairy-tale--love, they also demonstrate great awareness of its transience, its maddening let-downs and instability. . . .

4 Essential Rules for Approaching Couples Conflict

1. Talk about yourself, not your partner--and focus less on your "position" than on your feelings, wants, and needs. Since no one likes to be negatively judged, analyzed, or "dissected," in addressing your mate . . .

Self-Sabotage as Passive Aggression Toward the Self (Pt 5/5)

 In self-sabotage you "act out" internal conflicts by first moving toward a goal--then retreating from it. "I can do it" is offset by "I can't do it." "I want it" is overridden by "No, I don't want it." "I deserve it" countermanded by "I don't deserve it."

Self-Sabotage and Your "Outer Child" (Pt 4 of 5)

Your inner child, or child within, is a popular term in the so-called "recovery field" (recovery, that is, from having grown up in a dysfunctional family). But how about what, unconventionally, might be referred to as your outer child, or child without?. . .

The "Programming" of Self-Sabotage (Pt 3 of 5)

Most everything that's psychologically dysfunctional has its origins in outdated childhood programs. These programs of adaptation, more or less useful as a child, typically become ever less so as you age.

The Paradoxical Rationale for Self-Sabotage (Pt 2 of 5)

 Do you seem to struggle in life much more than others? If you're disciplined enough to work hard at accomplishing a goal, yet routinely do something rash or imprudent to undermine it, your behavior may actually be more motivated than you imagine. . . .

Bristol Palin's Dancing--A Triumph of Profit, Popularity, or Politics?

When ABC invited Sarah Palin's daughter to be a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," their motive appears unrelated to Bristol's star status. After all, she's hardly a celebrity in her own right. . . .

The "Logical Illogic" of the Psycho-Logical (Pt 1): Dreams

Part 1: The Psycho-Logic of Dreams Here's a dream that vividly reveals the exquisitely logical connections between our waking concerns and nocturnal "hallucinations." In the dream, my client, Kevin, is flagged down by a policeman for speeding. . . .

The Arbitrariness of Blame (Part 3 of 3)

Can You Break Your Habit of Blaming?--and If So, How?If you understand, and you show that you understand . . . the situation will change.  (Thich Nhat Hanh)If virtually all human behavior can be seen as ultimately compelled, what does this suggest about how, ideally, you should treat others (not to mention yourself)?

The Arbitrariness of Blame (Part 2 of 3)

 Is Blaming Warranted--Ever?"To understand everything is to forgive everything."  (French expression)Going beyond pragmatic objections to blaming (i.e., it really isn't very effective), I'd argue that the entire concept of blame and blaming is suspect. . . .

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