Who Gets Suspicious About a Partner’s Social Media Activity?

it's a diagram with a thought bubble in the middle. Arrows are pointing to it from various icons on the hub of the implied circle. (These icons also have arrows pointing to each other.) Starting at 12:00 position on the wheel and moving clockwise, these are what the hand drawn icons appear to be: Cell phone, laptop computer, envelope, a magnifying class, 3 stick people, a lightbulb
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

I recently featured a letter from someone concerned that their boyfriend might be conducting a secret affair based on their social media activity. After I featured that letter, I got a ton of response from readers weighing in on their thoughts.

Many of them were frankly surprised that someone could become so concerned based on their partner’s social media activity (in this specific case,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Apologies Are Far Less Helpful Than Not Offending Someone in the First Place

a black and white photo of a neon sign that reads "Sorry"
Image by Timothy Brown / CC BY

Very few social lives experience no conflict whatsoever. Chances are if you have enough friends are socially well connected enough you’ve run into a situation (or two or three) where someone has done something to offend someone else.

And once a social transgression has been made, it’s up to the parties involved to figure out how they want to make up —  » Read more

Continue Reading

Being Kind to Others Makes People Happier than Treating Themselves

a card with a stencilled background of butterflies. The words on it read "Kindness blooms in even the harshest climate"
Image by Dedra Wolff / CC BY

Happiness stems from within, we’re told. If you want to be happy, start with you. Be good to yourself first. Focus on self-care. Give yourself a little treat.

This is the kind of advice that sounds good and is easy to follow. And while it’s important not to skimp on self-care and let yourself run too far on empty a question naturally follows: Does taking care of yourself lead to happiness?  » Read more

Continue Reading

Self-Signaling, or Why “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” Is Actually Good Advice

a chalk drawing of a stick figure going up a set of stairs
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

-Kurt Vonnegut

*

Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Dishonesty Can Actually Damage Your Ability to Read People

statue of Venus wearing a blindfold
Image by Pixabay / CC BY

It’s well known that dishonesty can be damaging to interpersonal relationships. When we find out someone has lied to us, it can be very difficult to trust them again.

But how about the other side of things? When someone has lied to us, even if no one discovers that they have lied, does the act carry consequences for them as well?  » Read more

Continue Reading

Why, Yes, Your Attachment Style CAN Change

a series of white paperclips against a red background. In the middle there is a spot where a white paper clip should be but is missing. Above it is a red paperclip pulled out a certain distance, against a white backdrop. It contrasts sharply with the rest and looks out of place.
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

I’ve written quite a few times on this website about attachment styles. As I’ve written in those previous posts, perhaps the biggest lesson of all in child development is that the first year of so of our life is a radically important time for us emotionally. While we continue to learn about trust and social relationships over the course of our life (and experience another notable period of turbulence at puberty),  » Read more

Continue Reading

Are There Situations Where Too Much Support Can Be Worse Than a Lack of It?

a lollipop in a mug
Image by Steven Greenberg / CC BY

I remember the first time I heard the term “secondary gain.”

I was transcribing charts for a large hospital system. I had recently transitioned to a floating role, where I had a primary hospital account I worked for but had been considered flexible and capable enough to work basically anywhere. To cover other people’s time off.  » Read more

Continue Reading

Fight, Flight, Freeze… Fawn?: Responding to Danger by Becoming a People Pleaser

a sign that's broken that says "yes"
Image by Anthony Clearn / CC BY

Many long-time readers of the blog know that I identify as a recovering people pleaser. It’s been a long road to recovery, bolstered by an excellent support system and a round of assertiveness therapy several years back.

Growing up under the thumb of a difficult mercurial parent, I learned early on how to anticipate her needs and accommodate them,  » Read more

Continue Reading
1 2 3 10