All posts tagged: psychology

Favors, Vulnerability, and Recovery from Disappointment

Every once in a while I find myself in a vulnerable position and need to ask a favor of someone.  Many people find asking a favor difficult and that it makes them feel indebted or dependent.  Personally, I don’t find asking difficult because I know my heart’s attitude towards reciprocity in society: stranger or friend, I am happy to help anyone who sincerely asks a favor of me. We’re social animals and, therefore, we should not be afraid to help a stranger nor ashamed to receive help.

Inevitably, sometimes we ask for a favor and are disappointment by the lack of fulfillment. Is there any recourse?

It’s impossible to safeguard against ever being disappointed, but we can become better at dealing with it. Here’s my strategy for dealing with unfulfilled favors as they loom and after disappointment hits.

Week 52 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Personal Change

It’s the final week of this journal prompt series that I wrote to help you make introspection and deep thinking a daily habit. We made it!  Thanks for reading, liking and commenting throughout the year. I hope you found the content useful, or at least interesting, challenging, and thought provoking!   Next year’s blog project TBA! This week’s journal topic: Personal Change There’s a quote on Pinterest usually attributed to Lao Tzu: “When I let go of what I am, I become who I might be.” Regardless of the source – a fake quote or not – I like it.  It’s versatile as a reminder that progression requires letting go.  Being attached to our identity (i.e., how we choose to perceive and think of ourselves) makes letting go is a difficult and painful process.  Letting go is not a “whatever” or “don’t care” attitude, a disinterested shrugging of shoulders.  True letting go is a process requiring self-reflection and deep looking inward, followed by recognition of what will be let go and why, motivated by what will …

Week 51 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Solitude & Togetherness

Haven’t you had the experience of enjoying a salty, crunchy snack when suddenly you crave something sweet?  You’ve got sensory fatigue – eating more of the salty snack will continue to decrease satisfaction. How do you get the enjoyment back?  In order to enjoy the salty snack again, you need an intermission of something sweet: milk chocolate, ice cream, or some soda.

After thinking about this scenario, would you say that tastes are opposites, or are they complimentary?

What about solitude and togetherness? Sometimes we engage in the craving cycle in relationships. How do we get out when we feel stuck? Can we avoid the cycle without avoiding relationships?

Read on!

Week 50 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Secrets

First things first: The winner of this week’s Amazon gift card is announced at the end of today’s post!

It’s Christmastime, which means lots of family gatherings, seeing relatives whom you haven’t contacted all year, and meeting up with friends, and seeing coworkers out of context.  The entire month of December is an emotional powder keg.

It’s the season of high emotions and alcohol.
Secrets are revealed by uninhibited revelers. Events happen that we want to keep secret.

What makes a secret a secret? Why does it feel so good to know a secret? And why is it so hard to keep secrets?

Check out this week’s post for answers and, of course, more questions!

Week 49 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Receiving Gifts

Last week I wrote about how to give gifts. (By the way, I had a giveaway planned but the instructions were buried at the end of last week’s post.  Let’s try again – be sure to scroll all the way to the end for the instructions so you don’t miss out!)

This week, the topic is how to receive gifts. There is a saying that “it is more important to give than to receive.” If this is true, then naturally we should all want to give. (Indeed, there is a special feeling that comes from giving.) But where would that leave us – who would there be to receive the gifts, favors, and assistance that we are happy to give?  

In light of that observation, we must all become both givers and recipients.  This means we must be not only skilled at giving gifts, but also prepared to receive what others offer, too.  This allows others to practice giving.  Let’s talk about the ethics (norms, rules) that tell us how to receive.

Week 43 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Movies

Have you ever felt guilty for vegging out in front of a screen, even when you legitimately needed some time for rest and relaxation? Feeling guilty sucks the joy out of watching movies.

How can we as intellectuals and type-A’s bring the joy back into watching movies?  It’s an activity we will inevitably find ourselves doing as a part of social relationships with friends, family and coworkers.  Can we even make intellectual sense of the time we spend watching schlock, or slapstick, or even superhero movies?  Read on!

Week 41 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Decisions

Do you suffer from analysis-paralysis? Trust me: there’s no PERFECT decision. What you need is to know what best motivates YOUR decisions, and what makes a good decision FOR YOU. Some people are satisfied by a choice motivated by their religious faith, others choose according to their personal values, and some people want to maximize probability of a desired outcome. What makes you choose option A over option B?

Week 38 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Promises

Promises are a big deal.  Really.  Can you imagine what society would be like without promises? We rely on others to do as they assure us that they will. How would human relationships, partnerships, and friendships function without promises? 

People have different ideas of what a promise is – what it means to promise, how a promise occurs, and what consequences to expect or dole out in response to a broken promise.  The foggy understanding of promises adds tension to relationships.  Improving your understanding of promises has the potential to transform and benefit your interpersonal relationships.  Let’s figure this out! Click to read more.