Archives for Personality

Developmental Psychology

What Is The Parenting Recipe For Making Mean Kids?

It’s Anti-Bullying Week and this year’s theme is Stop and Think—Words Can Hurt.

Interestingly, for all our focus on how to stop kids from bullying each other, we have precious little research addressing what parenting styles are likely to produce bullies. Because, let’s face it, if your nine-year-old child is a bully, chances are very good you and/or the child’s other parent can take credit.
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General

A Question of Spontaneity

I am not a spontaneous person.

When a surprise invitation or opportunity appears, there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll pass it up. Maybe even 60/40. Maybe even more, but I don’t want to admit that to myself.

Spontaneity is a good thing. I know this because in romance movies, guys always dump their tightly-wound girlfriends for kooky, devil-may-care, spontaneous girls.

And I can see for myself that spontaneous people lead colorful lives full of surprise.

My life is pretty...
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Friends

Why You Might Have Trouble Making Friends

Today's guest blogger is Irene S. Levine, PhD, author of  Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend and co-author of   Schizophrenia for Dummies. Irene discusses about all sorts of issues surrounding women's friendships on her blogs The Friendship Blog and The Friendship Doctor.

Many women write to me perplexed about why they can't form close friendships. They try new approaches, put themselves in all the right places, see...
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General

How Happy Is Happy?

Are you happy?

How happy?

On a scale of 1-5, are you a 5? Does that mean you’re happier than the person next to you, who put his happiness at 4? Are you sure? How do you know?

What if you have just come out of a major depression and are feeling pretty damn 5 about life for a change? Are you as happy as the woman who dances her way into every party, hands in the...
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Dieting

Breaking Bad Food Habits

Gluten-free, day 26.

It’s been that long since my last bowl of pasta and the realization that the unbearably itchy Mystery Pox I’d fought intermittently for a couple of years was probably a reaction to gluten.

Me, the queen of the PB&J foldover. A pizza addict. A bread fiend. A cookie monster.

Gluten intolerant.

My initial horror at this idea was tempered by relief at having identified (fingers crossed) the Mystery Pox that had four doctors scratching their...
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Personality

Why Does Criticism Carry More Weight Than Praise?

I’m not starved for praise. I do a few things pretty well, and enough people have told me so to keep my ego reasonably healthy.

Why is it, then, that ten instances of praise can be completely canceled out (in my head) by one good criticism?

And by good, I mean on the mark and not stupid. Because, of course, the criticism that hurts the most is the criticism that we know, deep down, is accurate.

Praise is...
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