Problem: your aunt breaths fire at you whenever you see her. She’s belittling, insulting, hurtful, and all other synonyms for “offensive” you can come up with, and her nastiness burns you. What do you do? Is this worth a big fight, an exchange of words, a gentle palaver, or should you just leave it alone? […]
Behavioral Therapy: why you shouldn’t drive by your ex’s house
When was the last time you did something you regret? Like drive by that old boyfriend’s house just “because.” It starts out innocently enough. There’s that old yearning and a little curiosity, and you hope by God you see him. He’ll have gained weight, have an enormous beer belly, and his hair will be filthy […]
How to deal with difficult people
It takes guts to deal with toxic relationships. The difficult person might be a peer at school, colleague, parent, sibling, or neighbor, and they can do damage. This post is about dealing with problem situations in assertive ways. Being assertive means standing up for your rights in a direct, honest way. It’s about solving a […]
Defense Mechanisms: What would you do?
Picture this scenario: You’re a college student. You’ve been working very hard on a paper for class when Don, another student, steals the paper and presents it to the professor himself. The professor is impressed with Don and gives him an A, then dings you for copying him. You can’t prove that you’re the original […]
Difficult roommate: how to solve conflict without killing someone
It would be nice if we had a magic wand that calmed people down and solved conflict with a flurry of the stick, but things aren’t so easy. Consider the following situation. You ask your new roommate to remove her belongings from your shelf in the bathroom. You don’t mean anything bad by it. She’s […]
Tips for coping with divorce
It could be you’re in the middle of a divorce and wake up every morning hurt, disappointed, miserable, or angry. Or you’re past the legal and financial aspects of separation, everything finalized, and think you should be feeling relief by now — but the feelings won’t go away. Here are some ideas to keep you […]
How do I get rid of this guilt?
Guilt is about feeling bad, even disliking ourselves, over something we did or didn’t do in the past. Guilt can be normal: the fact that we feel it proves that we have compassion for others. At the same time, guilt can become so toxic and destructive that it overwhelms, and that’s when it’s time to […]