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

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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

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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

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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

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Cheerleader Effect, or People Are More Attractive in Groups

cheerleaders
Image by Chris Cameron / CC BY

It all stems from a joke on the TV show How I Met Your MotherCharacter Barney Stinson points out that when women sit in groups that they all seem more attractive than if they were sitting alone. He calls this the Cheerleader Effect and likens it to how a squad of cheerleaders look gorgeous mid-routine but comparatively plain Jane alone.  » Read more

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Yes, Forcing Yourself to Smile Actually Does Make You Feel a Little Better

chopsticks
Image by Bruce Guenter / CC BY

My grandma once told me that if you’re sad that you should just put on bright lipstick and smile.

Her reasoning was more about self-protection than anything else. She said that people would be too busy looking at your lipstick to notice your sadness.

And so you’d avoid the most dreadful states of all: Pity.  » Read more

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Shooting the Messenger: When You Tell People Bad News, They Like You Less

silhouette of an archer holding a bow and arrow
Image by Andreas Øverland / CC BY

It can be tough when you have a difficult message to deliver. Especially unpleasant news.

I’ve definitely been in situations when I had to be the one to deliver bad news and then promptly had my head bitten off by the recipient — even in situations where I didn’t do anything and all of the action involved third parties!  » Read more

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Yikes! Apparently A Third of Women Have Dated Men Just for the Free Food.

a dinner plate featuring steak, lobster, asparagus, and micro greens
Image by bloomsburys / CC BY

As I wrote in the last installment of this series, science’s role is to test hypotheses and uncover the truth. Sometimes this uncovered truth is surprising. Other times it’s a big duh, “Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious” kind of moment.

Frankly, reality doesn’t care as much about our biases as we do.  » Read more

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