How to Debate the Family Idiot — 11 Tips for Surviving Holiday Politics

We all experience a crushing dilemma: do I dare engage with an ideologically-blinded family member, or do I abstain? Save the world or save the meal? If disinterested, how do we forgo a political skirmish? If involved, how do we maintain our poise? And if cornered and depleted, how do we escape? These 11 tips can help...

The 4 worst relationship behaviors to avoid, based on science

Fighting with our loved ones can feel terrifying, and it’s easy – if we don’t know what we’re doing – to get trapped in bad habits that lead to the deterioration of our marriage or long-term relationship. Fortunately, as we discussed earlier, conflict is natural and to be expected. However, there are four behaviors to avoid when in conflict, according to the Gottmans’ copious research.

Gratitude: A Practical Guide to Manning Up (Part 2 of 2)

Previously on gratitude, we discussed how to establish a gratitude buddy practice, backed by scientific research on the benefits of gratitude. Here we examine more strategies as well as results one may find by keeping such a practice. Again, these are observations from my own gratitude practice (with my friend Kyle) for both your edification and amusement.

How to embrace anger and not repress it: insights from poetry

Do you handle your anger, or does it handle you? We need to skillfully deal with anger when it arises, lest it derail our better intentions and lead to hurtful words and actions to those around us. We get angry for legitimate reasons. A plan didn’t turn out as we’d hoped. We feel hurt by someone’s actions or words. But that doesn’t mean the best response is to lash out while we feel ablaze with fury. Doing so usually pushes people away – intimated or scared by our fiery side – or escalates a confrontation instead of allowing us to negotiate productively. How can we engage with anger, instead of treating it like a feared tornado that rages into our psyche without warning, razing our best-laid intentions?

On wisdom from old words and joy (two original poems)

I searched for jewels of joy I combed my mental beach for years looking for rare shells. One day, while looking for the witch variety with dark and fiery whorls, I found another – of grooves in the pocket and designs of drumming when I was seven years old, basking in Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. Where are your shells?

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