Misery Loves Company… In Real Life or Online

a coffee mug featuring the face of Eeyore, the depressed donkey character from Winnie the Pooh
Image by Ben Babcock / CC BY

She’s holding her phone, scrolling through Facebook. She groans at something she sees. “Guess it’s time to snooze their posts for a while again.”

Snooze is a feature she uses a lot, allowing her not to see content from the person in question for 30 days. She’s found it extraordinarily useful ever since Facebook implemented it.  » Read more

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I Don’t Know What Kind of Fighter I Can Be, But I’m Here

a Lego knight riding a Lego unicorn who seems to have a couple of Lego wolves by their side
Image by floodllama / CC BY

I’ve always envied folks who have self-righteous confidence. An unwavering sense that they’re always the good guy in the story, an agent of justice. Who instinctively scream at perceived unfairness, rush head on into it, attacking it with little forethought and certainly no regret.

That’s never been my automatic response — to nearly anything,  » Read more

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If You’re Trying to Spot an Abuser, Look for Someone Who’s Emotionally Immature

a black and white photo of a child throwing a tantrum
Image by majorvols / CC BY

In spite of the fact that we haven’t seen each other in years, I still think about my therapist Sue every now and then.

On the surface, we shouldn’t have worked well together therapeutically. Because we didn’t have much in common. She was a mild-mannered person with Biblical verse plaques sprinkled on the walls of her office.  » Read more

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When You Give People Who Don’t Deserve It Your All, What Do You Have Left?

a black and white photo a person holding 2 empty outstretched hands
Image by Caitlin Regan / CC BY

A lot of people involuntarily cringe when you use the word “deserve,” regardless of context. Because the way most people talk about who’s deserving and who isn’t, there’s a deterministic bent to it, an underlying belief that some of us are born into this world entitled to happiness and prosperity. And others aren’t. Usually this is predicated on factors beyond our control: How rich our parents are,  » Read more

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Don’t Reward Behavior You Don’t Want to See Again

it's a watercolor painting of a rat solving a maze on a laptop computer while scientists in the background note the results on a clipboard
Image by Adria Richards / CC BY

Joke: “How do you punish a masochist?”

My answer: “Ignore them.”

Attention Is a Powerful Motivator

It’s something that experts advise new parents: Punishment can backfire if done too much or done the wrong way. Scolding or hitting tends to be particularly ineffective. Even if addressing a child’s behavior directly these ways is intended as punishment,  » Read more

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