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January 2011



Recent Posts



Daily Appreciation Helps Romance

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on May 26, 2010

It really is the little things that can make a big difference in a relationship.

A new article in Personal Relationships points the way to the methods of gratitude we can use to give a boost to our romantic relationships, and help us achieve and maintain satisfaction with our partners.

Our busy lives sometimes feel like they are spinning out of control, and we lose track of the little things we can do to add meaning to our lives and make our loved ones feel appreciated.

Humans are interdependent, with people doing things for each other all the time. Simply because a person does something for another does not mean that the recipient will feel gratitude.

There are many different reactions to being on the receiving end of a kindness. In addition to the possibility of not even noticing the kind gesture, the recipient could feel gratitude, resentment, misunderstanding, or indebtedness.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/25/daily-appreciation-helps-romance/14044.html


The ABCs of Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship

By W. Robert Nay, PhD
Sarah hated it when Jeff was “stressed out.” He became loudly critical of her, the kids, the driver ahead of him, and anyone else that annoyed him. He was impatient and irritable, and when he wasn’t on the attack he became distant. Sarah didn’t know what else to do, so she resigned herself to “just live with it.”

Ryan knows Kate is “hot-tempered,” but he’s sick of being called “a loser” and other names just because Kate is supposedly under so much stress. He misses the fun they used to have and the connection they once shared, but he can’t quite pinpoint the moment their marriage shifted.

Do these situations sound familiar? Anger, tension, and passive-aggression can gain a foothold in even the most loving relationship. One day you wake up and wonder what happened to the happy union you once had. Where did the trust and the closeness go? Fortunately, while you can’t force your partner to change, you can change the way you react and respond to their anger, and ultimately improve your marriage.

Here are five steps to overcoming anger in your relationship…

1. Assess Your Relationship (A)

How do you currently respond when your partner expresses anger in an unwelcome way? Do you confront them or try to stay out of their way? Do you withhold things they want, or give in to keep the peace? Acknowledging your own patterns of behavior and thinking about what you could do differently is the first step toward change.

2. Set New Boundaries (B)

Remember that you are in control of what you do. Consider which actions are acceptable to you and which are not, then clearly define your personal boundaries.

Read More:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/05/23/the-abcs-of-overcoming-anger-in-your-relationship/

The Power of Forgiveness

By Therese J. Borchard
In the 1980s psychologist Everett L. Worthington, Jr. Ph.D., began studying forgiveness while working with troubled couples. On New Year’s Eve, 1995, his mother was murdered. Dr. Worthington then dedicated his life to encouraging and educating people about forgiveness. He turned grief into mission by writing books, speaking, and founding A Campaign for Forgiveness, which has raised millions of dollars to support the search of forgiveness.

In her book, “The Law of Forgiveness,” author Connie Domino devotes a chapter to the scientific evidence for the power of forgiveness. Some of the studies she includes are fascinating, and will have you dump your righteousness and mend the strained relationships in your life before you’re ready.

For example, Dr. Fred Luskin, director and cofounder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, conducted research on college-age adults and younger-to middle-aged adults from Northern Ireland who had lost family members to the bloodshed in that area. His first study found that people who were taught to forgive became less angry and more optimistic, compassionate, and self-confident. They also carried less stress.

Read More:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/05/21/the-power-of-forgiveness/


7 Ways to Give An Apology & 4 Ways to Accept One

By Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D.

When I was seven and preparing for my First Communion, we were expected to go to Confession first. Back in the sixties that was a scary prospect, involving a dark booth, hell’s fire and spilling your guts to a shadow behind a screen. The only thing my seven-year-old self could come up with to confess was the time I stole a fancy little brush from Joyce Weber, my friend from down the street. I coveted that pink and blue plastic brush. My mom had already marched me over to Joyce’s house to hand the brush back and apologize. What more penance could there possibly be?

Seven ways to apologize:

  1. Don’t get defensive and be all, “I don’t have anything to apologize for!” Think about it.
  2. On your knees, groveling. Usually reserved for extreme transgressions like an affair. In that case, expect to grovel a long time but not forever.
  3. From the heart. When my son was three years old and banged his little sister on the head with Buzz Lightyear, my mother witnessed his apology. “That’s not a sincere apology,” she said. “He should mean it.” Well, he was three. “Form first,” I said. “We’ll work on sincerity later.” By the time he was five or so I figured he should be able to understand the concept of meaning it.
  4. With candy and flowers. Only to open the door or after the apology has been accepted, as a thank you. Do not expect treats to substitute for sincerity. No, not even a tennis bracelet.
  5. Face to face is best. And hardest. As my friend Steve said on Twitter, “Apologizing sucks.” There’s no way around it. A phone call comes in second. Email or direct message could work, as long as it’s guaranteed private. A handwritten letter is better, in my opinion. The writing needs to be carefully thought out when the advantage of voice and body language is absent. Texting an apology? You’ve got me there. Maybe for a 14-year-old? I don’t know, it may be a generational thing. I wouldn’t recommend it.
  6. Stick to the issue at hand. Don’t apologize for all the sins of the past. That can smack of insincerity. (If all the sins of the past is the issue, one apology won’t cover it. You probably need a mediator, like a pastor or a therapist.)
  7. Say you’re sorry once, genuinely said, with all the sincerity you can muster. Then let it go. Like a message in a bottle, send it off, be patient and hope it lands in receptive hands.

Receiving an apology isn’t easy either.

Read More:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/08/11/7-ways-to-give-an-apology-4-ways-to-accept-one/


Men Literally Die for Sex

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on May 27, 2010

Although everyone dies, men die at a higher rate than women across a lifespan — meaning that more men die per year than women.

A new study suggests that this excess mortality is the price of reproductive competition.

Women invest more physiologically in reproduction than men, thus men compete with other men for mating partners and try to make themselves attractive to women.

The researchers suggest that this sort of competition leads to strategies that are riskier for men both behaviorally and physiologically. Because of these greater risks, men have higher levels of mortality.

“If mating competition is responsible for excess male mortality, then the more mating competition there is, the higher excess male mortality will be,” said Kruger, an assistant research professor in the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

In the current study, Kruger shows that two factors related to the level of male reproductive competition contribute to higher rates of risk-taking and mortality.

The first factor is polygyny, the social situation in which one man maintains sexual relations with many women (the opposite is polyandry, which is one women and many men). Several species of primates show high levels of polygyny, where one dominant male mates with most of the females in the group, and other males are left out.

Human cultures have varying degrees of polygyny, and Kruger found that the more prevalent the practice, the higher the rate of male mortality.

In a polygynous culture, men receive enormous evolutionary benefits from becoming dominant. Those guys get all the gals, almost literally. Non-dominant men are left with few, or none, to choose from. In a polygynous group, winning males reap huge rewards; everyone else gets next to nothing.

The second factor: the degree of economic inequality. In mate selection, men are valued for the resource investment that they can provide, bringing benefits to their offspring. The wider the gap between rich and poor, the more likely men are to die young.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/26/men-literally-die-for-sex/14091.html

Female Friendships: Birds of a Feather Flock Together (On Looks).

Female friends: Do beautiful ladies band together?


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