Archives for March, 2012

Coping Skills

Revenge: Do You Feel Better When You Act on Those Urges?


Understanding how emotions and thoughts influence behavior is important for people who have intense emotions and are often ruled by them. Knowledge about emotions and the thoughts that strengthen or soften those emotions can help people develop ways to better manage their actions.

One urge that people experience but rarely discuss is revenge. Webster's online dictionary defines revenge as to avenge (as oneself) usually by retaliating in kind or degree...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Just One More Pair of Shoes and I Can Cope With This Stress


Dopamine is that wonderful chemical that  helps us recognize an opportunity to feel good. Dopamine release is about craving, wanting and seeking. Those sensations are all very different from liking, loving or being happy.

When a rat's dopamine system is wiped out, he'll still love the taste of sugar if you give it to him,  but he won't work to get it. Dopamine is what spurs us to work to get what...
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Coping Skills

How To Cope When A Family Member Has An Emotional Disorder

One of the most difficult feelings to acknowledge is not liking your loved one who has an emotional disorder. Being angry, frustrated, or disliking a close relative is difficult enough. But when the family member has a mental illness, you may judge yourself harshly for having negative feelings toward that person.

But the situation is normal and you are not alone. Family members don’t always like each other. It’s normal to feel angry toward...
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Coping Skills

A Few Thoughts About Accepting “No”


You will have many opportunities to practice accepting no. You may be turned down for a job you wanted, the person you asked to have dinner with you will refuse, the person who owns a house you want to buy will not accept your offer, and your spouse will not agree to allowing your poker group to play at your house.

Some weeks it may seem like "no" is all you hear. The way you...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

A Few Thoughts About Saying No


Emotionally sensitive people often have a difficult time with saying no. Some have difficulty saying it at all and others say it too often. Some say it timidly and others say it too harshly. Sometimes out of fear or discomfort people give lots of reasons for refusing a request or invitation or apologize for not being able to say yes though they really may not want to...
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Coping Skills

Why Did I Ever Agree to That?


Generally, our brains will tend toward avoiding loss, lessening risk and averting harm. For the most part, that's good for survival and helps keep us safe. But sometimes these choices aren't the best ones for us. That's when we have to go against what our brain wants us to do.

Knowing what those situations are can help you not say "Why on earth did I agree to do that?"

The Brain's Rulebook

David DiSalvo says it's...
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Coping Skills

If You Criticize Me, You Don’t Love Me


Remember mindsets from the previous post?  Growth mindsets are when you see yourself as a work in progress and believe that you can learn new skills and improve your abilities. Fixed mindsets are when you believe that you are either smart or not and that your abilities are basically unchangeable (Dweck 2006).  As you might imagine, looking at the world and people as fixed versus capable of learning significantly affects the way you...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Are You a Learner or a Nonlearner?

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck describes "growth mindsets" and "fixed mindsets."  A growth mindset is the idea that we can learn to be good at something and that abilities are like muscles that need to be developed and practiced. When you have a growth mindset, a setback, like not achieving a goal you wanted to achieve, is seen as meaning that...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Mom Was Right: Clean Your Room

In his book Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change, Timothy Wilson described the "broken windows" theory of James Wilson and George Kelling.

This theory is about neighborhoods and safety. Wilson and Kelling believed that the appearance of  neighborhoods made a difference in preventing criminal activity. They proposed that the environment communicated to people information on what behavior was appropriate.

Broken windows...
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Borderline Personality Disorder

Challenges in Creating Pleasureable Experiences

Experiencing painful situations is a part of life. One of the ways people cope with the sadness and pain is by balancing those experiences with joyful or pleasant ones. It's like having a bank account. You make deposits of pleasurable experiences so you can draw on them when life is hard.

Emotionally sensitive people can easily get worn down by difficult situations, so creating pleasure is an important means of coping.

Sometimes it...
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