Don’t Talk Yourself Out of Deep, Meaningful Connection By Calling It Unrealistic

a brown rope with a knot tied into a heart shape
Image by Pexels / CC 0

There’s a meme I made a while back that I post from time to time. The lead-in caption reads, “When you’re making up with someone and they take responsibility for their part in the argument and you also take responsibility for yours.”

Beneath this lead-in is a photograph of actress Tatyana Ali in her role of Ashley Banks on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  » Read more

Continue Reading

I Don’t Want Blind Loyalty

a person peeking out from underneath a blindfold
Image by Keirsten Marie / CC BY

“Aren’t you upset?” they said “Don’t you expect your friend to take your side?”

I shook my head no. “No, not automatically. Not if they don’t agree with me or what I’m doing.”

Blind Loyalty and Self-Satisfaction

I think a lot about loyalty. It’s often put forth as a virtue, right up there with honesty.  » Read more

Continue Reading

Dumped & Depressed: “You Wouldn’t Leave Someone With Cancer,” He Said.

a closeup of a horse on a merry go round
Image by Ariane Hunter / CC BY

“You wouldn’t leave someone with cancer,” he said.

She blinked, not quite sure she was hearing what she was hearing. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“You’re breaking up with me because I have depression,” he said. “That’s wrong. Not only is it wrong, it’s cruel. I never thought you were someone who would do something like that.  » Read more

Continue Reading

There’s Not Always a Jerk

a set of various shades of grey via overlapping circles
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

As it happens, I was bopping around the Internet the other day, not exactly minding my own business but instead throwing open every door I came across and rifling through for treasures, a bit like a video game protagonist looking for stray gold coins in NPC closets. You know, what people used to call “surfing the web.”  » 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

PQ 14.4 — What will happen if someone breaks the agreement? Do we have a path for reestablishing trust?

a path through the woods
Image by Simon Matzinger / CC BY

PQ 14.4 — What will happen if someone breaks the agreement? Do we have a path for reestablishing trust?

Consequences and Accountability

“I guess I just don’t see the difference between setting a boundary and making an ultimatum,” the young man says. He’s come up to me after the class I’m teaching.

You’ve clearly had experiences that make you feel that way,  » Read more

Continue Reading