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Psychology

Psychology

Forget the Past? Bad Idea!

As a therapist, I sit with many people who’d like to forget the past, along with its most piercing injuries and disappointments, but they can’t. The past won’t let go of them. Others have already forgotten huge chunks of their personal history, but they still feel stuck in it somehow, as if the past were so much invisible waist-high goo, keeping them from striding forward with confidence. The Past Under Attack There’s an almost angry insistence in our culture that the past is dead; it’s supposedly over and done with, and we should just get over it, no matter what …

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How to Recognize When You’re Being Passive-Aggressive

Who among us can honestly say they’ve never behaved in a passive-aggressive way? When I’m not being assertive, passive-aggression is my go-to. I figure it’s better than outright aggression, and I don’t seem to be wired for passivity, so sometimes it feels like the best option. There are hundreds — maybe thousands — of subtle ways to avoid being assertive. This week’s article, in which I happen to be quoted, is a survey of just a few of the twisted moves we make to get around saying what we mean. Most of these sound pretty intentional to me, and fall …

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Can Reconnection Cure Boredom?

I’m not often bored these days, but I certainly have been bored before. I don’t like it. Not one bit. I’m curious about boredom. I want to know what causes it and why some people seem to experience boredom constantly, while others rarely or never do. Boredom feels bad, but it seems different from other feelings. What exactly is boredom, anyway? I was puzzling over this when this article on 5 types of boredom came to my attention. The article describes and labels boredom, but doesn’t explain it. Why do we sometimes feel bored? It’s easy to list the kinds …

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Grow Your Child’s (or Your Own) Emotional Intelligence

Everyone pretty much agrees on the importance of emotional literacy, at least in theory. As a society, we want children to learn how to deal with difficult feelings, both their own and others’. But how exactly do we teach them that? Especially if we ourselves aren’t sure we’ve got a handle on our own emotions? Emotional intelligence can easily be developed in children because most kids are naturally emotionally intelligent. At least, they’ve got the basics down; kids know an emotion when they feel one, and they’re not ashamed of their own humanity. But giving kids what they need to …

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