Sorry Not Sorry, Forced Apologies Aren’t Helpful and Aren’t Fooling Anyone

a wall that has "sorry about your wall" and a smiley face graffitied onto it
Image by Tim Green / CC BY

I do so hate a fauxpology (i.e., fake apology). You know exactly what I’m talking about. When someone’s saying the words, “I”m sorry,” but you can tell they don’t really mean it. Either by tone of voice or stilted word use.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” with an eye roll.

Or something equally unimpressive like,  » Read more

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We Tend to Think More About Tasks That Are Unfinished

a hand holding a single puzzle piece
Image by Eli Christman / CC BY

Compersion has a semi-exalted status in polyamorous circles. Simply stated, compersion (also known as confelicity or mudita) is delight in the happiness of others — even when that happiness has little or nothing to do with you. When you get down to it, compersion is just a very specific kind of empathy, one that runs counter to our cultural expectations.  » Read more

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Many People Think They Are Fair While Only Seeing What They Want to See

a bunch of playing cards. An ace of hearts is front and center and clear. Several others are out of focus and blurry in the background
Image by Theo Crazzolara / CC BY

I’m sitting in the courtroom trying to pay careful attention to the questions the lawyers are asking my fellow potential jurors. I know it’s unlikely that I’ll even get to speak. I was called last in my pool. I’ll only be asked to actively participate in voir dire — the jury selection process whereby we’re questioned by both lawyers to determine how suitable we are to serve —  » Read more

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Humans Are Awfully Good at Splitting Ourselves Into Teams & Kicking Up a Giant Fuss About It

trailhead in Robbers Cave State Park in Oklahoma
Image by Thomas & Dianne Jones / CC BY

“If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” some folks like to say.

Ah, the old Us and Them. That age old story of human conflict. We’re awfully good at splitting ourselves into teams based on perceived similarity and difference and then kicking up a giant fuss about it.

Really, really good.  » Read more

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When People Tell You What They Think You Want to Hear

it's a photograph of a sign that says "work in progress sorry for any inconvenience caused." on the sign is also a little drawing of a worker wearing a hard hat.
Image by Alexander Baxevanis / CC BY

It is really difficult for an organization to get honest feedback.

Whenever I talk about this (whether it’s part of a training or even at a research presentation), I’ll inevitably get someone who jumps in and argues with the premise almost immediately.

“Not from me,” they’ll say. “I let people know what I think.”  » Read more

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When You’re Giving a Speech, You Don’t Look Nearly as Nervous as You Feel

a child with long hair standing in front of a microphone and holding their arms above their head in a victorious pose
Image by Brisbane City Council / CC BY

Public speaking has always made me nervous.

This typically comes as a surprise to people, as I’ve done an awful lot of it in my life. I started pretty young, as a lector at my church. Later I would act in plays and compete in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

After I studied to become a psychological researcher,  » Read more

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