Category Archives: Conflict and dealing with negativity

How to respectfully talk about deep disagreements

The way local and world events are going at the moment, there is a growing desire to engage. To talk to one another! And this is good. In these turbulent times, we need to be talking to each other. But … Continue reading

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Let’s talk about how we experience challenges to our privilege. We don’t do this enough.

Have you ever been accused of being “privileged?” Of having “unearned privilege?” Have you ever had that feeling that out of virtually nowhere, people are labeling you, boxing you into a corner, suddenly putting the screws on you to somehow … Continue reading

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Find “your people”

It’s been a year and a half since I last wrote for this blog. Why? Partially because I had other priorities, but also because, truthfully, I haven’t felt like I’ve had a lot of additional positive stuff to share. I … Continue reading

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An anonymous letter to those “nice people” that do “favors” so they can sleep with people

Dear person interested in getting into bed with me, You have *subtlely* shown in your interactions with me that you are not paying attention to my situation beyond how it might impact your ability to get cuddles/sex. Which is a … Continue reading

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6 examples of what creepy behavior is, and how to avoid it

When a person (or group of people) makes us uncomfortable in some way that is not openly harmful or violent, they are being “creepy.” This subject is not very well fleshed out, however; lines are drawn between violence and nonviolence, … Continue reading

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Sometimes, when you want to welcome the new, you have to kick out the old crying and screaming

Man, am I learning a hard lesson in my life right now. I went on vacation for 3 months to travel around and get new perspectives and inspiration, knowing that something was missing, that I needed to find out what … Continue reading

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Some things I’ve learned about recognizing, coping with, and fighting oppression and bigotry

It should all be so simple: don’t be a jerk! So why do oppression and bigotry still happen all the time? And why does so much of it so often fly under the radar, often with little to no challenge, … Continue reading

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Is competition bad?

Competition. The art of being the best. It’s the foundation of so much of our sports and innovation culture, how could it be bad? Well … we live in a world that completely misses the boat in terms of human … Continue reading

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What you feel is never wrong

One could say that feelings are always right, especially considering how they often just “happen” despite our best efforts! Sometimes, the context of certain feelings is messed up, yes indeed. You don’t want to burst out laughing when somebody is weeping, talking … Continue reading

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Why you should learn how to speak nonjudgmentally

“I talked to this loser today, who has no life and seems to think no one else should either. Instead of engaging with me, he stared ahead like a sulky child and refused to fully acknowledge me. The guy’s a … Continue reading

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Meet my role model for situations of high tension: the hostage negotiator

“What would Jesus do?” say some. “What would Grandma do?” say others. These figures, who often are not with us, serve as inspiration to be somebody better, to “take the high road” at challenging moments. For me, when such moments … Continue reading

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Privilege is a much less unpleasant topic once we let ourselves be fully aware of it

These days, privilege often gets talked about in the negative: those privileged people, who have no idea of how life is for people unlike them. A justifiable anger, for those who do not enjoy such privileges. Very often, when somebody’s … Continue reading

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What will it take to stop the violence?

Why do violent acts happen? There are a thousand answers to this question. But not all of these answers are easily known. Especially when you are talking not about one single act of violence, but rather the continued stream of … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Beliefs and worldview, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Debate!, Healing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

How “leaving people a way out” calms tensions

We all get to that point with someone sometimes when there’s this big loaded question in the air – one that involves a lot of emotion, and thus potential disappointment. Think “will you marry me?” for example. Sometimes it’s not … Continue reading

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Get off the script!

“Hi, how are you?” “Fine, thank you.” “Good! How’s work?” “It’s good, it’s good.” This gets boring and meaningless after a while, doesn’t it? It’s the dreaded script! AAAAAHHH!!! You know, those times when the conversation becomes so deafeningly predictable, when people … Continue reading

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The insidiousness of dogma – and how it affects our ability to be happy

Anything, even the greatest, most wonderful of things, can be ruined for somebody if they have bad experiences with it. Nothing has an absolute quality of greatness or awfulness. Each individual feels things relative to their own experience. The best things … Continue reading

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Soundbites don’t make a discussion

The further along we get in media and Tweeting and texting, the more it seems people want to pack as much information into as little time as possible. This is often an admirable goal; when you can state a point … Continue reading

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What does it mean when you want someone to be jealous of you?

As I write this post, the most popular post on my blog these days, by far, is the one about why human beings get jealous. I noticed that a good number of the search terms hitting that post say things … Continue reading

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The enduring value of partnership

Pretty much everything we do in life, generally, will at some point involve interaction with somebody else, or many other people. These interactions can be transitory, or they can be longer lasting, and while long-lasting interaction tends to make the … Continue reading

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When the weather gets ugly, keep your hands firmly on the steering wheel

As driving advice, this is pretty common sense, right? You always want your hands on the steering wheel, but most of all when conditions are tough. That’s when both hands will be firmly guiding every movement, right? The thing is, … Continue reading

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You’re not feeling everything that you really feel

Have you ever noticed, when you look back on a past event, that you feel much differently now looking back on it than you did when you were going through it? When all is said and done, what counts most … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Healing, Healthy vulnerability and weakness, Long posts, Love and compassion, Personal reflections, Staying strong | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Forgive, but don’t forget (for different reasons than you might think)

Can you really forgive without forgetting? There are some who say that you must forget in order to properly forgive. Put that which you have forgiven out of your mind, and go forth with a pure heart. If you don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Healing, Staying strong, Zany or uncategorized stuff | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The real reasons why people get jealous – and why jealousy is so powerful

Jealousy is one of those demons that just seems to take everything over when it is felt – even when you know on the inside that your jealousy doesn’t make sense somehow, it often still rips through and takes you … Continue reading

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How to apologize… without meaning it?

So I’m looking through the search terms through which people come upon this blog, and one of the ones that seems to come up rather often is some variation on “how to say you’re sorry without meaning it.” Unfortunately for … Continue reading

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When there’s nothing more to say…

Sometimes, there’s nothing more to say. Sometimes, things just are as they are. And they will be talked about, and they will be described – but the more talking and describing occurs, the clearer it becomes that such talking and describing … Continue reading

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Why are so many people such jerks?

There are self-serving jerks out there, and then there are the rest of us, right? The jerks are the exceptions to the rule. For whatever reason, they feel ok to just go around thinking about nobody but themselves – but … Continue reading

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How to get good at empathizing

Those who see the infinite value of human connection and focus more and more on it start noticing something: empathy is everywhere. Or, at the very least, it is needed everywhere. So often, the first basic underpinning to doing anything meaningful involving another … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Healing, Healthy vulnerability and weakness, Long posts, Love and compassion, Making connection, Pass on the positivity!, Staying strong | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Avoiding the life-wrecking scarcity model of thinking

Underlying many of our greatest fears in life is the feeling that we will be abandoned, left out. That there won’t be enough of something left for us, and our needs will be forgotten. We’ll get trampled or left behind, … Continue reading

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Have high hope, but low expectations

This is a more concrete way of saying, “be open-minded,” a perspective you can take with you every time you are afraid of being disappointed. Some people use the word “hope” as a verb, in a narrow focus toward one … Continue reading

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ASK for clarification

When you look back on situations of conflict, so many awful things seem to happen solely because of some kind of misunderstanding. Especially between friends and loved ones – people close to you – the stakes are higher because of … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Love and compassion, Short posts | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

It needs to be said: holidays can really suck sometimes

Now – if you’re totally enjoying your holidays… GREAT! Flush this post from your mind, please, and continue enjoying yourself. I don’t want to get in the way of that. But if this rings a bell, please keep reading. We are … Continue reading

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How to apologize sincerely without feeling weak and humiliated

Feeling sorry about something does not mean you should necessarily feel weak. The fact that you did something wrong does not make you a less worthy person. Apologizing is a gesture of humility – thus there is a certain amount … Continue reading

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Don’t always protect people from your truth. It won’t make things right

We are often encouraged to put the negativity behind us and stay positive! You know, when something bothers you or otherwise messes with you? As aggravating as it may be, you swallow it and don’t make a big deal out … Continue reading

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We can do way better than either-or thinking

I see it all the time. Modern western society must push back Islam. Islam must push back modern liberalism. Feminism is antithetical to men. Men’s rights are antithetical to feminism. And so on. In a lot of modern movements and … Continue reading

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An anonymous open letter to people in abusive relationships who want to stay in the relationship despite the abuse

NOTE: trigger warning. This post contains graphic discussion of violence in relationships.

Posted in Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Healing, Personal reflections, Staying strong | Tagged , , , , , | 49 Comments

The limits (and benefits) of professional mental therapy

Therapists. Shrinks. Counselors. Sometimes, you just need one, to help tackle a deeper problem. But sometimes that’s not what you really need. When therapy is applied correctly, it can work, and very well. But often, people go to therapists for … Continue reading

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The problem with secretly keeping score

Have you ever had a relationship with someone that was always threatened by tit-for-tat “negotiations” over small things? You know, like “we ate at the restaurant you wanted to go to last time. Now it’s my turn.” Stuff like this … Continue reading

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The opportunity of adversity

Positive-thinking people not only find ways to create positive situations; they also extract the golden nuggets of positivity from the jaws of very negative, debilitating situations. In this video, Aimee Mullins, an athlete, actress, and fashion model, talks about her … Continue reading

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A good divorce is as much cause to celebrate as a good marriage

Unfortunately, it’s even rarer. A few days ago I went to the family court in my area for a case that was pulled last of all, which meant I got to observe the other cases. Among these others were a … Continue reading

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Remember to breathe

Rant ahead! I have been having a really busy, action-packed week, and done pretty well. Got a lot done, managed to enjoy substantial time with good friends, ran errands, work is busy, et cetera et cetera. I even slept really … Continue reading

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Adolf Hitler and the 9/11 bombers never had any bad intentions

Bad consequences/outcome? Yes, HORRIBLE. But not for bad intentions. No bad intentions here. Only good ones. What is a “bad intention?” And why in the world is it so important whether mass murderers have good or bad intentions? Because the … Continue reading

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A Daddy That Serves… in Pain: One man’s perspective on loving and giving – and yet, being invisible

One night I was reading through journal entries on a website, and I stumbled across this: a man’s plea to be heard and be loved for who he truly is. He is a transman, that is, someone who was born … Continue reading

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Can positive people be sad or depressed?

Short answer: it happens all the time. There are some people out there who are so much into being happy and joyful that they run away from sad, depressing things. That’s understandable, but definitely not optimal. They end up never … Continue reading

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Saying you’re sorry and meaning it. How to apologize without conditions

Pride is a powerful motivator, and we often think that apologizing is humiliating. So we qualify our apologies with “if” and other riders: “I’m sorry if what I said offended you.” “I’m sorry you took what I said the wrong … Continue reading

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Do NOT compartmentalize how somebody acts toward another person

It happens all the time. You see somebody insulting, putting down, or otherwise starting conflict with another person, and you tune it out, because this doesn’t happen with you and besides, it’s unpleasant to think about. That other person could … Continue reading

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The art of disarming: a better way to settle conflict

We often get caught up in a cycle of threats; I feel threatened by somebody, so I harden up and put out “don’t fuck with me” signals. The other person gets intimidated on their end, and they do the same. … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Healing, Healthy vulnerability and weakness, Love and compassion, Pass on the positivity! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

No. Don’t hurry up. Think it over and take your sweet time.

We’re always being told to “hurry up!” “Think fast!” “Make a decision now.” Do you realize how offensive it is to say this when it is not necessary? I find being pressured to hurry up absolutely heinous. Think about this: … Continue reading

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The best way to be truthful is to channel the truth correctly

We often see the truth as this finite, fixed quality, and ask: why can’t people just be honest? If it were so simple, this wouldn’t be such a widespread complaint. The issue is that truth is much more complicated than … Continue reading

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Game changers: How to change your state of mind

Being able to shape your state of mind is key to maturity. While you certainly don’t want to micromanage the way you think (often it’s beneficial to just let your emotions roam rather than trying to control them), knowing how … Continue reading

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When a former asset has become a burden

It could be a deep relationship that just needs to change. Or a job that you were once happy to have, but now causes you stress. Or a lifestyle habit you have that once was awesome, but now has become … Continue reading

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