When to hold on to your self vs. yield to others

When to hold on to your self vs. yield to others

You’re driving down the highway in the right lane and come upon a sign reading: “Left Lane Closed Ahead.” Do you slow down so drivers in the left lane can merge in front of you? Or do you speed up so nobody passes you? Your colleague is sure that the annual meeting...
Don’t get caught up wishing: “Wouldn’t it be great if . . . ?”

Don’t get caught up wishing: “Wouldn’t it be great if . . . ?”

How often do we say “Wouldn’t it be great if . . . ?” If only we could acquire, achieve and experience all the wonderful things in life. And if only we could get rid of, conquer and transcend all of our problems in life. “Oh, if I could lose this weight and arthritis...
Respecting differences in relationships

Respecting differences in relationships

One common source of tension and conflict in relationships, whether romantic, familial, platonic or professional, is the difficulty in managing the differences between the parties involved. “How could you possibly think that way?” “Why do feel you so upset? I would...
The pros and cons of routines

The pros and cons of routines

In a sense, doing something in a routine way means that we don’t have to think much about whether we want to or should do it. We just do it because it’s our established routine. Somewhere along the line, a decision was made to just do the thing so we don’t have to put...
Develop insight into how childhood wounds play out in relationships

Develop insight into how childhood wounds play out in relationships

Some say that in marriage, or longterm intimate relationships, couples have basically one fight; they just keep having it over and over again. The fight may take many forms, may hide behind different content areas and may play out in different arenas, but at the core...
How to decide what you ‘should’ do

How to decide what you ‘should’ do

It’s easy to get tripped up on the word and idea of ‘should.’ We sometimes hear people say, “I know I’m not supposed to say ‘should’ “ as if it’s bad or wrong. When we get tangled up with a ‘should,’ it’s usually because we’re having difficulty making some decision....
Appreciate the benefits of boundaries, limits and rules

Appreciate the benefits of boundaries, limits and rules

What emotional reaction do you have to the words “boundaries,” “limits” and “rules?” These words often have a negative connotation, inviting dread or annoyance. Certainly, if overdone, boundaries, limits and rules can be demoralizing or even oppressive. Why then, if a...
Develop a healthy relationship with your feelings

Develop a healthy relationship with your feelings

How would you describe your relationship with your sister-in-law? What kind of a relationship do you have with your dog, or your car, or your garden? Even without thinking very deeply, you can probably come up with some answers that would begin to paint a picture of...
Don’t buy the myth that you don’t have what it takes

Don’t buy the myth that you don’t have what it takes

In the wonderful story of the Wizard of Oz, the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man each fantasize how much better their lives would be if they only had courage, intelligence and compassion, respectively. They perceive themselves to be lacking in these personality traits and...
How to work on self-awareness to improve relationships

How to work on self-awareness to improve relationships

Relationships can be hard. Sometimes the more meaningful the relationship is, the more difficult it can be. If we choose to invest in improving a relationship, we should understand that it’s an ongoing commitment to learning about the other, ourself and the...

Articles

Psychological Fitness

“Psychological Fitness” is my monthly column featured in the Binghamton, NY Press & Sun Bulletin since 2004. This page highlights articles, or adaptations thereof, from that column.