The Prisoner’s Dilemma and the "Virtues" of Tit for Tat

You’d probably agree that in an ideal universe you’d do best living your life in accord with the golden rule. But in the real world attempting such an existence is precarious....

Do You (Figuratively) Lick Your Wounds? Should You?

Metaphorically, for humans the essence of wound-licking involves not a lapping tongue but a rationalizing mind.

When Someone Won’t Talk About Their Childhood—Why Not?

If someone refuses to talk about their years growing up, you can safely assume that their past was hardly idyllic.

How to Talk About the Things You Don't Want to Talk About

You can learn to talk about difficult subjects with your partner. Doing so is vital to your relationship.

The Surprising Power of Just Giving Up

My last post addressed issues relating to fighting what is. This one links to situations where you can best triumph over difficulties through—paradoxically—surrendering to them.

LeBron James: Victorious in Cleveland at Last!

If there’s such a thing as a city's "psyche,” then Cleveland’s just got a boost even greater than their beloved/hated LeBron's returning to Cleveland from South Beach in 2014.

You Only Get More of What You Resist—Why?

Jung argued long ago that “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” Today this paradoxical viewpoint is typically shortened to “What you resist persists." . . .

Are You Assertive Enough? Here's 25 Ways to Tell

It’s essential to know if your level of assertiveness is optimal. How else could you determine whether the way you stand up for yourself is most likely to get you what you want?

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.

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