An old tale from the Far East tells of a grieving woman who asked Buddha to bring her dead son back to life.  Buddha told her that he would grant her request if she brought him a handful of mustard seed from a house in which none of the occupants had lost a parent, spouse, […]

The Victim Mentality

The victim mentality is characterized by pessimism, self-pity, repressed anger and a belief that life is beyond one’s control.  Victims blame any and every available scapegoat (fate, circumstances, other people, even objects! For their problems and disappointments.  They often lead a crisis-ridden lifestyle, going from one trauma to another, never seeing the contribution they make […]

Toxic Personalities

We can all behave in manipulative, unpleasant and even destructive ways at times. But some people seem to hurt others more often than not. They live by their own rules, on their own schedule with little concern for the well being of others. They are toxic personalities. These people have a distinctive thinking pattern. They […]

Are you your own worst enemy?

Martha is afraid of rejection, so she withdraws from other people and adopts a scornful attitude. As a result, people avoid her and she spends most of her time alone.Todd is afraid of not being able to live up to his boss’ standards. It takes him weeks to get a simple report done because he […]

Happiness what is it?

What is happiness? Cultural answers constantly change as society evolves. In the 1950’s and ’60s, it was having the security of a “good job”; in the ’70s, the counterculture revolution told us it was enlightenment and self-improvement that we needed. The ’80s said, “Greed is good” as we swung towards a more materialistic definition of […]


More than any other sense, feelings define reality; how we feel about other people and events helps categorize them, influencing our perceptions and telling us what to expect in similar situations. Feelings are the river of life.  They flow from a faucet that you can choose to turn on or off.   If you turn it […]



Who’s Blue?  Jack moves and talks slowly, sighing frequently.  He has no complaints about his life other than a few marital spats, but neither does he have any enthusiasm for his work or home life.  When asked if he’s happy, he says “I guess so; I’m getting by.” Lauren cries easily and often, feels anxious […]

Dealing With Difficult People

Some people are exceptionally difficult to get along with.  They complain, threaten and bluster, sometimes withdrawing, at other times becoming intimidating.  We leave such interactions frustrated, angry, guilty, and drained.  We can all be annoying, irritable, indecisive, passive or hostile when overly stressed or threatened. But difficult people exhibit such behaviors regularly.The most common kinds […]

Constructive Conflict


In any significant relationship, differences are inevitable, for no two people have exactly the same interests, ideas, expectations or timetables. The question is not whether you have conflict in your life, but how you handle it that makes a difference. Circumstances that feed conflict are: Ineffective communication can cause conflict due to confusion about expectations […]


Inside Addictive Relationships Codependency has come a long way since the days when it was used only to describe the families or significant others of people who were chemically dependent. We now know that other groups, such as Adult Children of Alcoholics; people involved in relationships with emotionally or mentally disturbed people; and even members […]