self-understanding

Don’t Play the Victim Game

In Psychological Defenses in Everyday Life, (1989), I described a patient who complained that her husband was habitually late for dinner. Dinner was ready at 6:30, but he often came in as late as 8:30 without calling to let her know that he would be late. She asked me, “Is that right?” in a tone that… Read more »

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Evicting the "Obnoxious Roommate" In Your Head

I scanned the sea of black-robed 20-somethings for my sister’s familiar face. As I glanced over each aisle, I noted the beaming expressions of the satisfied graduate students about to receive their Masters degrees in Journalism. When I finally caught a glimpse of my sister, I was glad to see that in spite of the… Read more »

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Mindsight: The Unexpected Value of Getting to Know Yourself

With everything in the world from our language to our LinkedIn networks growing bigger, more complex and moving faster, it’s easy to feel like we are no longer in control. Our career path, our relationships and our futures are all victims of circumstance. Whether we are bowing to the will of a boss, a paycheck,… Read more »

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Sabotage You

Your boss is evil. Your spouse is lazy. Your teenager doesn’t listen. Your best friend won’t return your calls. Your relationships are complicated. Any attempt to create lasting harmony when facing the inevitable flaws and countless complexities of another human being can make you feel powerless. But before you condemn yourself to a lifetime of… Read more »

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Peace on Earth Begins with Peace of Heart

The phrase is emblazoned on holiday cards, ornaments and light displays: Peace On Earth. It is a noble wish, to be sure, the value of which few, if any, would dispute. (You never quite know what’s rattling around in those terrorist’s brains, so I suppose it’s best to leave a margin of error.) Certainly the… Read more »

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Give Yourself a Retreat: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

As any of you still shopping for that perfect present for that certain someone knows, this time of year is designed for thinking about others. Thoughts of getting away or doing something for yourself seem, at best, foreign and, at worst, selfish. Odd as it may seem, taking real, quality time to “escape” from your… Read more »

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Taking the Competition Out of the Holidays

With Thanksgiving behind us, most of us are slowly awakening to the realization that Christmas is right around the corner. And thus begins the Running of the Holiday-Crazed. Similar in many ways to Pamplona’s famed Running of the Bulls, but with only slightly fewer steaming piles to maneuver around. Sadly, this analogy was more on… Read more »

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Making Sense of Your Past by Daniel Siegel, M.D.

Creating a Cohesive Life Story: An Excerpt from Dr. Daniel Siegel’s New Book Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Why do we parent as we do? When researchers asked this question, they hypothesized— as many of us would— that it is the childhood experience of parents that predicts how they behave with their own… Read more »

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Quiz: Are You a Good Listener?

How many times have you been in conversations with friends, family members and loved ones and completely tuned out to what they are saying? Though this happens to everyone from time to time, it’s important for each of us to think about how often this occurs in our daily lives. How much attention do we give… Read more »

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Quiz: What is Your Emotional IQ?

We have all met people who, for some reason, are successful at almost everything they do: the straight-A student of normal intelligence, the adequate co-worker who lands all promotions and the average-looking guy or girl who captures the most attention at a party. Have you ever wondered why some people are so successful in their… Read more »

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