Common, everyday narcissism

In my opinion, common everyday narcissism means having a noticeably greater amount of self-interest and insecurity than empathy and confidence. If there was such a thing as an ideal personality, you’d have the capacity for both in roughly equal measures. To see something of what it feels like to be narcissistic, start by saying to yourself that you can’t afford to care much for the well-being of others who are close to you. If you do, you’ll threaten your ability to survive and get what you need out of life. Of course, you’ll have to pretend to have some heartfelt concern for people and learn the right things to say. You also need to hide your deep feelings of insecurity by acting in a somewhat arrogant or controlling fashion. Think of a characteristic, right or privilege you have that you can use to give yourself the feeling of entitlement to…






Read more

Anger at work

Believe it or not, many of the same principles hold for workplace and relationship issues. Anger is a big topic in both areas. What is anger? It’s a feeling that can cover annoyance, frustration, hostility, opposition and rage. It might be superficial or it can run deep. And it may have good and bad effects on an individual; it can promote feelings of strength, power and confidence, or weakness, helplessness and fear. What causes anger? People vary a lot in their likelihood to experience or show anger. But, everyone has some anger. A person may have experienced anger in the past and not fully resolved the issues. As a result, he/she may still carry a little or a lot of anger over them, which can surface spontaneously or in response to a stressor. Anger can also develop anew in response to slights, insults, conflicts and problems. At work, many factors…






Read more


Self-compassion

I look at self-compassion as different from the hippie-type statements that abound telling you to love yourself and going so far as to say if you can’t love yourself you’ll never be able to love anyone else. People who have a dreaded fear of being arrogant, who self-punish for errors or who believe they’re not good enough are going to be immune to the self-love rhetoric. The way I find to translate self-compassion to someone for whom it is a foreign concept is to demonstrate that he/she already has some, even if it’s rudimentary. I start by asking the individual to describe his/her characteristics that he/she values. Then we talk about the fact that maintaining a personality with desirable features in it means they must have told themselves they were doing something right. And they were probably good and kind to themselves when they evidenced these characteristics. That’s the beginning…






Read more

How does your individual chemistry work?

According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages. Harville Hendrix has told us that we make good, bad and indifferent choices of partners and need to learn how to make the relationships work. I say there’s a piece missing: We need more than how to communicate love to each other and how to develop good patterns of relating. My point is that lovers need to also know how their individual chemistry works; what is their attitude to love? That tells you by what mechanism the feelings of tenderness, passion and lust flow. So, what is an attitude to love? Quite simply, it’s a set of thoughts and feelings that determines how you think, feel and behave when you’re in love. It reveals what love is for you. Basically, the attitudes fall into one of four categories. There’s passion, dignity, peace and joy; the core units from which love is…






Read more