If Disappointment Fills Your Heart & No One Wants to Hear It, Does It Make a Sound?

a forest in which one tree has fallen
Image by David Stein / CC BY

I’ve known so many people over the years who really seem to all believe one thing: As long as you don’t complain about something aloud, you aren’t really upset about it. And because you’re not really upset about it, nothing will happen.

And most importantly, they won’t have to deal with the fact that you were upset.  » Read more

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A Lot of Behavior Generally Pleases Reasonable People But Only Manages Difficult People

a typewritten page close up where someone has typed "UNGRATEFUL"
Image by Trending Topics 2019 / CC BY

It is always happening whenever I talk to my mother.

She’ll say something petty and ungrateful. Someone will have done something nice for her. Something that was clearly well intended. Came from a good place. But because the gesture wasn’t perfect, wasn’t what she would have envisioned in the best of all possible worlds,  » Read more

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If You Want Better Relationships, Test Yourself More & Test Your Partner Less

a blue sign on a wall that reads "You?"
Image by Shawn Rossi / CC BY

“I liked your piece about testing self-beliefs instead of accepting or rejecting them outright,” she says.

“Thanks,” I say. “It’s something that’s always been hard for me to articulate, but it was really the only way to move through my divorce without steering off too hard in either direction. I had to learn moderation more intentionally;  » Read more

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Emotionally Reactive People Don’t Make Much Sense to Proactive People

colorful absurdist abstract art that contains the forms of an eye, a stick figure, a man's face, a bird and other shapes
Image by David Matthew Parker / CC BY

I’m flustered again, mystified by the inexplicably bad behavior of someone else.

It’s not just disappointing behavior, mind you; it verges on the absurd.

I share this with a friend of mine. He thinks for a moment, before saying, “What you have to remember, Page, is that most people have the emotional regulation of a flea.”  » Read more

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I’ve Been With the Rebound Guy for Almost a Decade

closeup of a trampoline in someone's back yard
Image by Pixabay / CC 0


“Be careful,” she told me.

“Oh?” I said. “What do you mean?”

“I know you’re crazy about this guy, but it’s all so new,” she said.

I smiled. “Yeah, I get that. I know all about New Relationship Energy. I know what that feels like.” New Relationship Energy (or NRE) is a term for the biochemical state that your body enters when you’re first falling in love,  » Read more

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