The emotional significance placed on these terms can promote or interfere with personal satisfaction and success.
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How can we feel better after an emotionally charged conversation instead of worse?
Why do some people complain a great deal while others complain rarely, if ever?
The distinction between reacting and responding is an important one and one I have emphasized in my psychotherapy and counseling practice.
When patients control more of the doctor-patient conversation… they often have better medical outcomes.
While self-blame is something to avoid, a self-inquiry into what they might have done to contribute to an unfortunate circumstance might prove extremely helpful.
Sometimes Condolences Can Hurt, More Than Help.
Eric Hoffer, the social writer and philosopher, once said "the search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness." Similarly, John Stuart Mill, the British philosopher and social theorist said, "ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so."
Sara, a person who has consulted me frequently for help for many years, has been a harsh self-critic; essentially, picking up where both her parents left off. While therapy has helped her to become more accepting of her shortcomings and occasional failures, Sara still, at times, can berate or belittle herself for an occasional error in judgment, a social gaffe, or even a disappointing experience on a blind date.
"Stop being so defensive!" is a phrase known to have begun or to have escalated many a battle between people in a relationship. The person told to stop being defensive usually responds by stating that he or she is not being defensive. The accuser then uses that response as evidence to prove his point and an argument ensues. The issue that was the subject of the exchange gets lost in the anger-storm and not reopened for some time, if ever.