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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

What Playing Video Games Has Taught Me About Having Relationships

a picture of someone holding up the old Nintendo cartridge of Dragon Warrior in their hand as they stand in what appears to be a parking lot
Image Source by Trevor Owens

Video games have been a constant presence in my life for basically as long as I can remember. There are a multitude of people that I wouldn’t know at all if it weren’t for my love of video games, like the guildies I met back in the days when I essentially lived inside MMORPGs.

And there are still others who I would have known but wouldn’t have been nearly as close to,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Accepting Hypocrisy: It’s Humbling But Human for the Shoe to Be on the Other Foot

a surreal photograph with an orange sky and blue-green trees

He walks through the door. A little earlier than I thought. Perhaps 15 minutes before I expected him.

I’m happy to see him, but I’m also mortified. Because he’s caught me just as I’m coming out of the shower. I suppose I’m technically dressed, but not really. Wearing an odd assemblage of clothes (one of my “hobo outfits”) on the way to changing into what I’m actually going to wear.  » Read more

Continue Reading

I’d Been Dreaming of Home an Awfully Long Time, But I’m Glad It Took a While to Find It

a closeup of a dandelion flower gone to seed
Image by cattan2011 / CC BY

Jealousy is in some measure just and reasonable, since it merely aims at keeping something that belongs to us or we think belongs to us, whereas envy is a frenzy that cannot bear anything that belongs to others.

-Francois de La Rochefoucauld

*

I was alone a lot when I was growing up.  » Read more

Continue Reading
1 2 3 35