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Psychology Reveals How to Shed the Burden of Remorse

Psychology Reveals How to Shed the Burden of Remorse

Remorse can eat away at you after a while if you don’t confront the issues causing it.

When you live with regret, it steals your joy and keeps you from living in the present moment. We all have unpleasant past experiences and memories to contend with, but that doesn’t mean we should allow them to ruin the future. Life sometimes leads us into the valleys to teach us valuable lessons, so we can carry them to the mountaintops and build our character.

No matter how many negative experiences you’ve had, you can probably list many ways that you’ve grown from them. Of course, everyone needs time to heal from trauma or unfortunate circumstances. However, we can either grow bitter or take those lessons and become better than the people who hurt us. You might have regrets about being the cause of someone else’s pain as well, but remember that your past actions don’t define you as a person.

The beautiful thing about life is that we can always choose to experience a better reality based on our thoughts and actions in the present moment. If you want to let go of the past and leave the regret behind you, psychologists reveal a few ways to do precisely that.

Psychology reveals how to shed the burden of remorse:

First off, let’s talk about the dangers of rumination and remorse; specifically, the mental and physical health risks that can come from repeated negative thinking patterns. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, says that negative emotions such as hostility or anxiety can become detrimental when a person considers those temporary emotions as a permanent part of their personality. Having a negative outlook or disposition can worsen your health, believe it or not.

Indeed, a 2014 study published by the journal Neurology found that highly cynical people had a higher risk of developing dementia than more open, trusting people. Even when accounting for other risk factors like age, sex, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and heart health, researchers still found this to be true. Living with regret and pessimism may also harm your heart.

A 2009 study published b the journal Circulation analyzed data from nearly 100,000 women. It found that heart disease occurred more often in cynical, negative people than in more optimistic individuals. The more pessimistic women additionally had a higher risk of death during the study period than those who looked at the world with rose-colored glasses. However, just because you live with a heavy burden of remorse or negativity now doesn’t mean you can’t change it. We always hold power to adjust our attitude or way of looking at things.

As you can see, carrying around a lot of baggage can have a dangerous influence on your health. If you want to lead a more carefree, healthy life, psychologists have a few tips for you.

How to let go of remorse

 A big part of moving on from the past and letting go of regret involves forgiveness. Below, we want to outline some of the critical steps outlined by Dr. Robert Enright, Ph.D., a leading researcher in the scientific study of forgiveness. Once you have forgiven yourself or others for wrongdoing, you can start the healing process and finally put down all the weight you’ve been carrying around.

  1. Uncovering Phase

During this phase, you will become aware of the regret or pain you’ve been holding onto from past trauma or emotional wounds. You may feel anger or hatred toward yourself or others because of the pain inflicted on you during these traumatic events. This process will involve a lot of inner work, and you may experience many different intense emotions. However, once you acknowledge what you have remorse about, you can start to heal from it.

  1. Decision Phase

Now you probably realize that focusing any more of your energy on the past won’t allow you to move on from the pain and trauma. So, it would be best if you forgave yourself and others to heal the wounds and let go of the regret. This does not mean you have to forgive anyone involved in wrongdoing just yet fully, but at least entertain the possibility of forgiveness or letting go of remorse. You will want to give up any thoughts or feelings of retaliation toward anyone who caused you suffering because this will hinder the healing process.

  1. Work Phase

Now comes the actual inner work, which will help you transform your perspective and understanding of painful events. Many people have to go through this uncomfortable phase when dealing with childhood trauma to heal their scars. If you have had a lot of negative experiences in life, you might feel regret or remorse about the past because you think you missed out on good memories. Forgiveness can play a massive role in moving on from this trauma because you can put yourself in the shoes of those who inflicted pain on you.

Perhaps your parents tried their best but had their wounds they had to work through as well. When you go through the work phase, it allows you to open your eyes to the possibility that everyone deals with scars of their own, and that they may not have meant you any harm.

Opening your mind and heart to them and seeing things from their perspective marks a huge turning point in the process of letting go of remorse. This doesn’t mean you excuse their behavior, but rather, you can understand where it came from and why they hurt you.

This phase may also include reaching out to them in hopes of reconciling, although you don’t have to do this if you don’t feel comfortable. However, many people find that talking about past trauma with the injurers helps greatly in being able to leave the experiences behind them once and for all. You can also get a better idea of what was happening in their life at the time or how they were feeling, which may expand your compassion for them.

  1. Outcome/Deepening Phase

In this phase, you probably feel a great sense of relief that you left all that baggage behind. Once you’ve processed the experiences and emotions involved, you feel lighter and better able to enjoy the present and future. Perhaps you can look back at the trauma you went through and turn the pain into lessons you learned. Sometimes, we face painful and hurtful events in life to become stronger and grow from the situations at hand. By letting go of remorse and forgiving yourself and others, you may also feel a broader love and care for humanity.

After healing from severe trauma, some people even find a new purpose in life. For example, women who left abusive relationships may feel a strong urge to work as a counselor or support worker for women who suffer from domestic violence. If you can look back on those unpleasant memories and see them as a blessing because they helped you gain a new perspective, you can start to heal from whatever you go through in life.

Other steps involved in shedding remorse:

  • Employ positive thinking. While everyone needs to allow negative feelings to come to the surface when processing trauma, there comes a time when you have to make a decision. Either you allow those experiences to ruin your life and give you a negative outlook, or you can choose to take whatever you learned and spin it into something positive. A lot of the suffering we go through actually happens in our heads, not in reality. If you think about things in this way, it becomes much easier to shift your perspective and choose something different.
  • Think about the possibilities. If you don’t like what’s happened to you, don’t worry. Your story doesn’t end here, and you have so much ahead of you in life. No matter what you’ve been through, you can create a beautiful ending based on the actions you choose today. Think about all the possibilities for your life as long as you follow your heart and try to remain positive.
  • Remember that you’re human. You have regrets about something, and so does everyone else. Life can’t always happen the way we want it to, but don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn from them, instead, and do better the next time around.

holding a grudgeFinal thoughts on shedding remorse so you can live a joyful life

Everyone deals with regret about something, but it doesn’t have to control your life. No matter what you’ve been holding onto, choose to let it go today. You’ll feel so much lighter and in better control of your emotions and thoughts if you leave the past behind you. Why dwell on negative experiences and ruin the beauty of this moment?

You can create any future you desire as long as you shed the burdens of the past and tap into the unlimited potential of the present.


Psychology Reveals 7 Traits of a Stubborn Person

Psychology Reveals 7 Traits of a Stubborn Person

We often think of being stubborn as a negative trait, but being a little hard-headed comes in handy sometimes. It helps you stand your ground and not give in to people out of peer pressure or guilt. It does pay to compromise in certain situations, but you also have to know when to stand firm with people.

No matter how you feel about stubbornness, new research shows that this personality trait might actually help you live longer! A study by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Rome La Sapienza sought to find a connection between certain personality traits and longevity.  Twenty-nine individuals aged 90-101 from remote rural villages in Italy participated in the study. At the conclusion of the study, the scientists confirmed that the group had better mental health overall than their younger family members aged 51-75, even though their physical health was worse.

The group had a few key traits in common, including a stubborn streak, a hearty work ethic, healthy relationships with family, an optimistic attitude, and a life close to nature. Researchers believe that being stubborn helped participants care less about what others thought of them, which in turn lowered their mental stress. This mental fortitude and unyielding disposition aided them greatly in keeping a positive outlook on life.

“We also found that this group tended to be domineering, stubborn, and needed a sense of control…” study co-author Anna Scelzo stated in a press release from UC San Diego Health,

“This tendency to control the environment suggests notable grit that is balanced by a need to adapt to changing circumstances.”

So, as you can see, being stubborn does pay off! Below, we’ll go over some of the critical traits of a stubborn person. Because having a lot of pride does come with its downsides. Thus, we will talk about some of the challenges stubborn people face as well.

“You don’t stay undefeated without being a little stubborn.” ~Andre Ward

Psychology reveals seven traits of a stubborn person:

  1. They have a strong will.

Stubborn people never hesitate to follow through with something they genuinely believe in. If they have a vision, they will accomplish their goals, come hellfire, or high water. This mental vigor pays off because you can’t reach your destination if you have fears about even leaving the driveway. In other words, having pride enables you to stay consistent with your dreams and keep the momentum going even when you reach setbacks.

Having a strong will may come from facing challenging situations in childhood. People who have a lot of struggles early on in life may have a greater appreciation for hard work and will walk the extra mile to achieve their dreams. Those who have nothing to lose and everything to gain know all too well how it feels to stare up that mountain from the very bottom. However, the climb makes the journey worth it.

Those who have unshakable willpower don’t let life stand in their way, and they don’t cave easily under pressure. This segues into our next point.

  1. Stubborn people have a lot of resilience.

Those who have a lot of pride feel that they must do everything on their own. Nothing got handed to them in life, and they know if they want something, they will have to work for it. However, no challenge intimidates or scares away a stubborn person. They have the drive and indomitable will to shape reality how they see fit.

They will work 16 hour days if they have to in order to accomplish their goals. A stubborn person may seem intimidating when you first meet them, but they don’t allow others’ opinions to ruffle their feathers. They have much larger fish to fry, so they just keep their eyes on the prize.

  1. They won’t sway their opinion just because of peer pressure.

A stubborn person won’t cave in an argument just because no one agrees with them. They’ll make their points, have evidence to back them up, and stand their ground even if no one stands with them. While some people will just go with the herd because it feels comfortable, a person with pride doesn’t let the groupthink mentality affect them.

No matter the topic, stubborn people bring a lot of fire to a discussion, expanding the minds of everyone in the room. Although, they sometimes have a difficult time admitting when they’re wrong, so it doesn’t always go both ways. Their inflexible personality can often cause disharmony in the lives of stubborn people because they don’t like to admit defeat or error.

If they can keep an open mind during discussions, it will help them greatly in both the workplace and their home life.

  1. Stubborn people have a passionate attitude about life.

Because stubborn people don’t like to back down from a challenge, they have a lot of passion and vigor for life. Nothing seems off-limits or impossible for them because of their willpower and determination to get things done. Stubborn people often excel in the following careers due to their hard-headed disposition, according to research from

  • wholesale and manufacturing sales representative
  • retail sales worker
  • management analyst
  • human resources manager
  • police officer

These jobs require a lot of social interaction, but they also cater to people who have a lot of pride in their skills and ability to accomplish a task. For these reasons, you might consider careers in these fields if you have a particular personality type.

Here are ways you can end arguments with your partner.
  1. They usually have a good work ethic.

Stubborn people have high standards for themselves and enjoy getting the job done, no matter what it might entail. They typically do better working alone because of their sometimes combative nature, but if they can tone it down a notch, working in groups doesn’t present a problem. Having pride in one’s work only becomes a problem when people trample on others or don’t consider their opinions.

So, if the person in question can learn to listen attentively to others and try to understand their perspective, they will have no trouble working in a group setting. Being stubborn can sometimes pay off when working with others because these types of people have a willingness to do tedious tasks that others may cringe at.

  1. They may resist change.

Stubborn people often have excellent resistance to change because they like to follow the status quo. Because of this inflexibility, this might just be their downfall. Life changes constantly, so it pays to have an open mind and a willingness to go with the flow. Stubborn people will have to work on their rigid way of living if they want to reach their potential truly.

  1. Stubborn people sometimes like to argue to prove a point.

Not backing down in a discussion is one thing, but having a lot of pride sometimes means instigating arguments just for the sake of it. Stubborn people have an insatiable need to be right, and they see arguing as a fun pastime. Beware if you cross a stubborn person with a lot of time on their hands because they might just start hitting you with heavy topics, like religion, politics, or gun control.

They may not mean to cause any discord, but they genuinely see discussions as a means of expanding one’s mind and seeing the world from another perspective. So, they may not realize they’re overstepping boundaries if others don’t enjoy arguing as they do. Perhaps they’d enjoy a career as a lawyer for this reason as well because a right amount of debating goes on in the courtroom.

Ways to deal with a stubborn person:

  • Walk away for a bit to breathe. Sometimes, you just need some space to cool off before you can deal with any problems. If the two of you just can’t see eye-to-eye, you might want to walk away before things get too heated. This way, you can circle back to the issue with a clear head.
  • Try to understand their side. Perhaps they’ve had to defend themselves from a young age and just don’t know how to communicate well. Try to understand where they’re coming from before writing them off as merely impossible to deal with.
  • Attempt to compromise. Stubborn people and compromise don’t usually appear in the same sentence. However, any rational, mature person would want to see things from another’s perspective. Try to arrive at a middle ground with them, as long as they seem open to discussing it.

Final thoughts on traits of a stubborn person

If you have a stubborn person in your life, you know the difficulties you face in dealing with them. They may seem argumentative and stuck in their ways, but they have their positive traits as well. Being stubborn means not backing down from challenges, having a strong work ethic, standing up for yourself, and having a lot of passion. These traits can take someone far in life as long as their hardheadedness doesn’t get the best of them.


Psychology Explains the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Psychology Explains the Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation drives us to get out of bed every day to accomplish something important to us. These goals might involve work, school, or training for a marathon. We all have different reasons for choosing specific goals. And we are each driven by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Below, we’ll break down the various definitions for you.

  • Intrinsic motivation – This mindset involves doing something because you get a personal reward out of it. Think of it as enjoyment or eagerness to learn a new skill.
  • Extrinsic motivation – doing something because of an external reward. Consider scenarios such as a raise at work or losing weight from exercising. You may also be extrinsically motivated to avoid punishment, such as losing your job or gaining weight from not exercising.

You can sum these up by saying that intrinsic motivation arises from within, while extrinsic motivation comes from influences outside oneself. By looking at these definitions, you might think that intrinsic motivation matters most. However, both of them have their importance in shaping our society. For example, if you only did what brought you happiness and joy, you wouldn’t have the drive to accomplish tasks at work which involve other people.

For example, you wouldn’t care about pleasing your boss or coworkers. That’s because you’d only pay attention to your desires.

So, we’ll delve a little further into the psychology behind motivation and the significant differences between both types of it.

The Differences Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Now that you know where each type of motivation comes from, let’s get into some more examples of both:


  • getting involves in sports or other hobbies that you enjoy
  • cleaning up your room because you like keeping it organized
  • studying a subject like astrophysics simply because you want to learn new things
  • exercising because it makes you feel better.


  • finishing your work because you don’t want to get fired,
  • taking on the extra workload at your job because you want a promotion
  • cleaning your room because you have guests coming over
  • studying a subject because you need to pass a test at school.

As you can see, we need both types of motivation in our society to keep it functioning correctly. If everyone only did things to please others or avoid punishment, we would lose what makes us human and act more like robots. However, if we only did whatever we wanted all the time, we couldn’t maintain the products and services that keep our society running. So, we should strive to maintain a reasonable balance between what makes us personally happy and what we need to accomplish for societal obligations.

How Each Type of Motivation Influences Behavior

 Some studies have shown that offering too many rewards for a behavior that already gives intrinsic satisfaction can decrease internal motivation, otherwise known as the overjustification effect. For example, in this study involving 20-month olds, researchers found that their altruistic tendencies decreased when they were given too many external rewards, such as praise or toys. Another study found a similar outcome in those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, discovering that their intrinsic motivation decreased as external rewards increased.

Why does this phenomenon happen? According to the American Psychological Association, people tend to focus more on external rewards than internal satisfaction, despite their natural desire to do what makes them happy. Another factor influencing this behavior involves punishment or bribery. If people feel like they must do something out of fear or coercion, they will focus more on extrinsic motivation since they believe they have something to lose.

The studies:

Research also shows that if people get external reinforcement for doing a good job, the overjustification effect won’t have as much influence on them. For example, if you do well on a test because you studied for it, this won’t cause your internal motivation to decrease. Since your performance on the test depends on how hard you studied, getting a good grade drives your studying behavior. In the cases listed above with the children, the external motivation didn’t depend on their performance, so they lost their desire to keep up the behavior.

Another study found that parents should use moderation in giving their children praise. Children who receive praise for their efforts in completing a task rather than for their inherent talents or personality traits believe that success depends on how hard they work, not how smart they are. Children who develop this mindset also tend to persist in the face of struggles. That’s because they know that hard work will carry them through tough times. If children just believe that intelligence matters, they won’t have the external motivation to keep going in the face of adversity.

This makes sense because every parent wants to believe their child possesses some unique or otherworldly personality trait or intellect, which will get them ahead in the world. However, the research consistently shows that children have more success when their parents raise them to work harder for whatever they want to achieve in life. If parents reward their children too often for good behaviors, this enforces the idea that they will not have to put in very much effort to obtain rewards.

When to Use Each Type of Motivation

 This applies mostly to employers or parents who have to motivate others to accomplish tasks. Extrinsic motivation can come in handy in the following types of situations:

  • External rewards can help others become interested in a subject or activity that they had no desire to learn before.
  • Extrinsic rewards can motivate people to acquire new skillsets and knowledge. Once they learn the skills, they may have more internal motivation to pursue a job or activity.
  • External rewards can also help people know where they stand in their job or schoolwork. It serves as a way to give people feedback and let them know when they’ve done a good job.

In cases where people already enjoy an activity, parents or employers should refrain from giving external motivation. Basically, it boils down to moderation. Giving too much praise makes the individual less likely to keep up the good behavior. On the other hand, too little praise causes the person to become resentful and disinterested in the activity.

When motivation becomes more important:

External motivation helps in cases where people have no interest in an activity or task. Think about the kids doing a school assignment or an important task at work. You don’t want to give too many rewards. Offer just enough to get people motivated to complete the job. Researchers have drawn the following conclusions about how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation work:

  1. Unexpected rewards usually don’t curb internal motivation. For example, if you actually enjoy your job and you help the company bring in more money, your boss may reward you with a gift card or a promotion. This won’t affect your intrinsic motivation because you genuinely enjoy your work. However, if people start expecting rewards every time they accomplish something, this can become problematic.
  2. Praise can boost your internal motivation in some cases. Researchers have found that giving people positive feedback when they perform a task better than others can improve their internal motivation for doing that task.
  3. Internal motivation will decrease when people receive rewards for doing what’s expected of them or for simple tasks. For example, if parents give their children $5 every time they make their bed, it will lower their motivation for doing their chores every day.

How to Use Each Type of Motivation in Your Life

Think about what goals you have or what duties you’ve been given in your daily life. No matter if you go to school or have a full-time job, you can learn what motivates you and how to use this to your advantage. Let’s say, for example. You have your own business running a travel website. Now, think about what makes you motivated to keep growing this venture.

You probably have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to maintain your business. That’s because your work keeps people coming to the website each day, which generates monetary rewards. However, you obviously picked that line of work because you get personal satisfaction from teaching people about the finest places to travel around the world. We all get motivated by external and internal factors. Moreover, both of them are necessary for a functional society.

Final thoughts about extrinsic and intrinsic motivation

As you’ve learned in this article, extrinsic motivation comes from anything outside yourself that keeps you working toward a specific goal. Usually, people get motivated by other’s opinions of them, monetary rewards, or positive praise. For example, if you hope to lose weight for external reasons, you may care about looking better to attract someone’s attention or because you want to feel better. However, you may not personally enjoy working out.

Intrinsic motivation comes from anything that we do because we get pleasure out of it. This may pertain to certain hobbies you have. Or, in some cases, it may involve your job. (Although, unfortunately, most people go to work just to pay the bills). As you can see, both types of motivation have a place in society. And we can use both of them to our advantage.


Psychology Reveals How Positive Thinking Helps Smoking Cessation

Psychology Reveals How Positive Thinking Helps Smoking Cessation

If you’re a smoker, there’s never been a better time to quit than now. Nobody said that it’s going to be easy because nicotine is a strong addiction. However, advances in smoking cessation support and nicotine replacement therapy can make it less difficult for you.

The Age of Innocence

You didn’t set out to be addicted to tobacco. Remember watching the films in grade school about the dangers of smoking and the countless studies linking it to lung disease? You probably donated some of your spare change to the Send a Mouse to College research program of the American Lung Association.

Those educational films were eye-opening, as they showed pictures of diseased lungs that were blackened and deformed from years of smoking. The profound pain and suffering from end-stage emphysema and lung cancer is widely known. You don’t want these diseases, but you probably didn’t even consider them when you were hiding in the school bathroom smoking with your friends.

Smoke & Mirrors

The world’s love affair with tobacco has been a dangerous association for thousands of years. When European explorers came to the shores of America, they found that tobacco had a place of reverence in sacred rites of the indigenous people. During colonization, after the fight for independence, and into modern times, tobacco remains a major crop in the United States.

In the early part of the 20th century, many states and local laws forbade women from smoking in public. With the advent of the females’ right to vote and women joining the workforce during World War II, public opinion waffled, and many women saw smoking cigarettes as a glowing emblem of freedom.

Even after laws were made to place a health warning from the American Surgeon General on each pack of cigarettes and cigars, big tobacco companies used sly advertising campaigns to lure young people into smoking. Television, magazines, and the golden screens were ablaze with attractive models and actors poised with a burning cigarette in hand.

Ads for dainty, perfumed cigarettes used women’s liberation themes to appeal to females. Rugged cowboys rode horseback with a favorite brand of a cigarette dangling from their lips to show how macho smoking was. Unfortunately, these subtle imageries worked, and they captivated entire generations of Americans.

The Mindset of Smoking Tobacco Addiction

As with any substance abuse, you were in control at first. You probably enjoyed that initial rush of energy with that first puff of smoke. Perhaps, you started smoking at an early age and felt a guilty pleasure from doing something naughty and dangerous. You may have told yourself that you could quit at any time, but soon found that the tobacco was in control of your life.

Your first step to breaking nicotine’s hold on your life is to admit that you have a problem that’s out of control. Nicotine is highly addictive, physically, mentally, and emotionally. For smoking cessation, you need a holistic approach that involves the body, mind, and spirit.

Many former smokers said that beating the psychological dependency was probably the most difficult part of their journey. When they opened their minds to self-compassion and positive thinking, it was easier to fight the cravings and stop smoking for good. Their victory started in their minds and revised thought patterns.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Can positive thinking benefit smoking cessation and help you avoid lung-related illnesses and other associated diseases? Your mind is a powerful tool that can help you beat addiction. If you’ve decided to lay down the cigarettes, here are some ways that positive thinking can help.

• It Changes Your Attitude

If you’ve been a smoker for years, maybe you think it’s too late for you. Many longtime smokers say that they’ve smoked this long, and they may as well continue, regardless of their failing health. Does that sound like a familiar excuse in your mind?

Since nicotine addiction started in your mind, so does your cessation. Reverse some of the images you had that inspired you to smoke in the first place. Instead of thinking that smoking makes you look cool, realize how admirable you look when you crush the habit. Rethink your whole attitude about how smoking has affected your lifestyle and health.

You are changing from a smoker to a non-smoker, and your emotions may be all over the place. You’ve identified with that lighter and cigarette for so long that it has become an extension of yourself. Part of making the break from smoking realizes that your addiction does not define you and that you have the power to change.

• It Can Help with Visualization & Affirmations

Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely concluded that you are what you think. If you believe that you can overcome the smoking habit, you can do it. First, you must visualize yourself passing by the cigarette stand in the store and only saving your lighters to light scented candles at home.

Visualize how different life will be when you’re no longer in the constant grip of smoking tobacco. Your hair and clothes won’t stink like stale smoke anymore, and you’ll lose those unsightly nicotine stains on your nails and teeth. Visualize all the money you’ll save when you stop buying tobacco products, and you should think of all the things you can do with that extra money.

Affirm to yourself each day that you are a beautiful, loving person who deserves to be loved. Tell yourself that you are taking charge of your life and removing the hold that smoking has over you. Remind yourself that you will be kind, loving, and patient during the cessation process.

As you look in the mirror, smile and say that you are the image of health and refuse to let cigarettes threaten you with lung disease or other disorders. Declare yourself a winner and a survivor, even when you have a few failures along the way. Make positive affirmation signs and post them in conspicuous places in your home and office.

• It Can Help Your Chart Your Progress

Many people find that journaling is an ideal way of recording their thoughts, dreams, and aspirations while recovering from addictions like smoking. The great thing about journaling is that it’s your project and you decide how you want to do it and what’s right for you.

It can be as simple as a computer-based log, an inexpensive school notebook, or an elaborate handmade journal. You should write whenever you feel like it or when you get the urge for a puff. Maybe you could write about your first experiences with smoking and how it deluded your thinking.

Perhaps you can use a few pages to devote to your affirmations to change your attitude about smoking. Another section may be reserved to remind yourself of the negative outcomes of smoking, such as smelly clothes, premature aging, money loss, emphysema, and lung cancer. At the bottom of each page, reassure yourself that you are making the positive changes necessary to avoid these troublesome side effects.

In another section of your positive thinking journal, imagine what your life will be without smoking. You’ll have no more days of standing outside in the cold and rain to get a cigarette break. Your appearance and health will improve, and you will get past the fear of possible lung cancer and premature death.

• It Can Help You To Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones

It’s human nature to want to barter rather than to give up something. If you’ve been a smoker for years, many of your daily habits and pleasures in life probably revolved around cigarettes. There’s the after-dinner smoke and cocktail, the weekly Friday night poker game with a splendid cigar, or a relaxing smoke in your favorite lounge chair while watching a movie.

Just the thought of nixing smoking from the equation may fill you with anxiety. On a positive note, you needn’t give up the things you enjoy just because you stopped smoking. There’s nothing you must stop doing because it requires a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Trade out the bad habit for a positive, healthy one.

Keep a stock of sugarless gum and mints close by for when you get a cigarette craving. Smoking won’t give you any more luck in your beloved card games than chewing gum can. In the beginning stages of smoking cessation, you may find it comforting to fiddle with a pencil or pen in your hand to ward off psychological cravings.

Did you know that your body starts to heal almost immediately after you stop smoking? You’ll probably be amazed that you can walk greater distances and do more things without losing your breath or having coughing fits. To keep your mind off smoking, consider taking walks, and marvel at the beauty of the world around you that’s not blurred by cigarette smoke.

Final Thoughts on Staying in a Positive Mindset During Smoking Cessation

Breaking any addiction, like smoking, requires a good support system, especially from your primary healthcare provider. Talk to your provider about a smoking cessation plan that is tailored to your needs. It may include nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum, as well as counseling.

Positive thinking can be your guide to lay cigarettes down for good. Improving your health and avoiding lung diseases is worth it. Leave the hazy smoke behind you and step into the fresh air of a new lifestyle.


Psychology Reveals How to Stop Blaming Others for Your Shortcomings

Psychology Reveals How to Stop Blaming Others for Your Shortcomings

Your parents worked hard to teach you how to do the right thing, but you didn’t need any help in learning wrong as it seems to come naturally. One way that people justify their bad choices is to blame others. From an early age, you learned how to point fingers at your siblings, friends, or even the dog when you were caught doing something wrong.

What is it about human nature that makes us want to shift the burden of wrong over to the next person? Do you remember being a kid and telling your parents not to blame you as it was your little brother’s fault? Even though you may have done the deed, bringing an innocent party into the equation somehow made you feel justified.

One of the first things that children learn to be generous with is guilt. You’re not alone, because everyone is guilty of finger-pointing. As adults, you often find it even easier to find fault in others and blame them for your mistakes or things going haywire.

It goes against your nature to accept responsibility for your shortcomings. Have you ever felt good about biting the bitter pill and admitting to your faults? There’s an old saying that the person who is always smiling has thought of someone to blame.

There’s a difference between owning up to your mistakes and continuously blaming yourself for everything. While it’s not healthy to live under the staggering weight of guilt for things beyond your control, you should feel guilty about doing wrong intentionally and then make it right.

Blaming others for your shortcomings may give you a skewed sense of satisfaction. However, it doesn’t last long, and it won’t do anything to resolve the issues. If you allow the blame game to become a habit, you can blame others and live in misery.

Eight Ways to Stop Blaming Others

It takes a strong person to stand up and own your mistakes. Nobody wants to make themselves look bad when they falter. However, you’ll find that people will respect you more when you admit to your shortcomings and do something to rectify them.

Are you tired of being a pawn on the board of the blame game? It’s never too late to get off the fault-finding merry-go-round and admit when you’ve missed the mark. Here are some positive ways to stop blaming others for everything wrong in your life.

1. Admit That You Have a Problem

It may sound clichéd, but the first step to solving a problem in your life indeed is to admit that you have one. Of course, it feels uncomfortable to bear the scarlet letter of blame. However, you will feel the burden lifting when you come to terms with your habit of not accepting responsibility for your actions.

Now that you realize that you have a problem, you can formulate ways to resolve it. However, this isn’t going to be an easy task, especially since the blame game is ingrained in the human experience. Owning up to your problem is the most significant hurdle.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to confess your faults because you have low self-esteem. Maybe you feel better and morally superior when you’re blaming others for your shortcomings. Unfortunately, it’s a slippery slope that can cause many conflicts in your personal and professional relationships.

2. Assess Your Life

While finding your responsibility in a current problem may be difficult, reviewing the past problems may shed some valuable light. Perhaps you can make this a section of your journal or make a separate one for this soul-searching task. Look back on some of the major upheavals in your life and see how your pattern of blaming others may have begun.

Maybe it started when you were a child when it helped to get out of trouble by pointing out your siblings or making them partially responsible. Understand that this behavior is normal for children but is unacceptable and detrimental in adulthood. As you review past problems in your life, notice if you still hold grudges and blame others.

3. Learn to Take Some Blame

A prime example of people shifting all the blame to another person is usually observed after failed relationships. If you’ve ever been in a relationship that went sour, you may have self-medicated your heart by making everything your ex’s fault. If this has become a life pattern, perhaps you see a string of broken relationships in your rear-view mirror.

This scenario may also be real if you have a long history of failed friendships, skipping from one job to another, or uncompleted tasks. Sure, it’s easy to blame the ex, your former bosses, or everyone else in your family and friends. Did you ever consider that you share some of the blame?

Of course, this doesn’t apply to toxic or abusive relationships, but you may have made poor choices along the way. It takes two to make a relationship and two to break it, so be woman or man enough in owning your mistakes.

Discovering how to be responsible for your shortcomings can make it less difficult to fix personal or professional relationships. Try to be a non-judgmental observer and see your place in the dilemma. Learning to share blame may take time, but it’s worth it.

4. Learn the Language of Problem Solving

Whether you have a problem at home or work, you’re never going to get anywhere by blaming everyone else and becoming a martyr. It only adds fuel to the fire and breaks down healthy communication.

Do you listen to yourself when you are talking to your family, friends, or coworkers about a problem or weakness? Avoid starting sentences with “You Always” or “You Never.” These toxic prefaces are classic blame shifters. You ALWAYS forget to check the calendar, or You NEVER let me know things in advance. It’s ALL your fault, and I BLAME you. Do these remarks sound familiar?

If you are partially or fully to blame, be strong, and own your mistake. Say things like, “Wow, I messed up on this, or I should have been more attentive to details, and it’s my fault.”

Review the problem together and see how things could have been done differently for a successful outcome.

5. Learn to Listen

There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. It goes against every grain of your fiber to listen to someone honestly pointing out your mistakes. The ability to take constructive criticism is a trait of a wise and experienced person.

Hold your tongue and listen to another person’s point of view instead of going on a rampage of self-defense and denial. When you truly listen with an open mind and empathy, it may open your eyes to what you are doing wrong and need to fix.

6. Learn How to Apologize

Yes, we often feel smug and self-righteous when blaming others for our mistakes. It’s especially satisfying if the situation truly was another person’s fault. When you shift the blame, you may be encouraged for a while, but you’ve not won a real victory.

Watch others’ reactions when you confess your faults and genuinely apologize. You garner respect from other people and for yourself when you take proper blame and ask forgiveness. We are all human, and we make mistakes, so learn how to admit, apologize, and learn from your blunders.

7. Learn from Your Mistakes

Einstein allegedly said insanity is to repeat the same actions and expect a different outcome. Once you’ve practiced how to own up to your weaknesses, learn from it, and find ways to remedy them. When you mess up and continue doing the same thing repeatedly, your apologies don’t mean much.

Maybe some of the problems in your personal and professional relationships stem from how you manage your time. Perhaps you are a perennial people pleaser and overextend yourself, so you don’t want to disappoint someone. Take full responsibility for your actions and work on changing how you do things in the future.

8. Learn to Let Go

How long have you nursed that grudge and pointed fingers at people for things that happened years ago? When you realize how your words and actions fit into the puzzle, it becomes easier to leave it in the past. It’s even truer when you’ve learned to recognize your faults and own up to your mistakes.

From now on, refuse to be bound by past blunders and failures and put them behind you. Even if someone is rightfully to blame for causing you grief, find the grace to forgive. Above all, learn to admit your faults, forgive yourself, and learn from past errors.

Final Thoughts on How to Stop Blaming Others for Your Shortcomings

When it comes to the infamous blame game, nobody comes out a winner. If you’ve noticed a pattern of blaming others for everything that’s gone wrong, then it’s time to take a serious self-assessment. Owning your faults and inadequacies can help you overcome them, and you’ll gain more respect from others and for yourself.


Psychology Explains How to Reverse Negativity Bias

Psychology Explains How to Reverse Negativity Bias

Did you know that we tend to pay more attention to the negative than to the positive? It’s true. Psychologists call this tendency the negativity bias.

But contrary to popular belief, we can train the brain to counteract this psychological tic – and we should make an effort to do precisely that. Why? Because the negativity bias stinks, that’s why. It darkens our mood and contaminates our perception.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the wretched negativity bias. We’ll also talk about how to reverse it. First, here’s a bit more clarification on what the negativity bias is, exactly.

The Negativity Bias

“The brain is like Velcro for negativity and Teflon for positivity.”  ~ Dr. Rick Hanson

Technically,  the negativity bias is defined as “our proclivity to attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.”  The problem is that adverse events produce far more prominent responses than non-negative.

“(The) negativity bias can influence how we feel, think, and act, and can some less than desirable effects on our psychological state.”  ~ Catherine Moore, Positive Psychologist

For example, negativity bias is the reason that we:

  • Dwell more on unpleasant or traumatic events than pleasant ones;
  • Focus the attention much quicker to negative rather than positive information;
  • Think more about our weaknesses than our strengths; and
  • Respond more passionately, both emotionally and physically, to aversive stimuli.

Even if we were to have the perfect day when everything goes right, a single distressing event could undo it all.

Which all begs the question: Why the hell do we even have a negativity bias? Like many of our more annoying psychological quirks, it all has to do with evolution. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors always faced immediate environmental threats that required swift action.

“Okay, but we don’t live in the wild anymore, jerk.”

Granted. But, of course, it’s not that simple.

Any thought or behavior trait, if repeated often enough, will stick around. It’s severe enough to get rid of a newly acquired habit, much less a universal, thousands-of-years-old psychological tic rooted deep in the human brain.

You can thank your great-great-great-great-great whoever for this delightful state of mind.

Hey, at least we don’t have to contend with some hungry creature that just ate our best friend.

Negativity Bias Research

In case you are wondering what that chart is, it’s a measurement of event-related brain potentials or ‘ERPs.’ An ERP is a “measured brain response that is the direct result of a specific sensory, cognitive, or motor event.” In this case, neutral, positive, and negative stimuli. Scientists measure ERPs by electroencephalography (EEG), a recording of electrical activity in the brain.

The graph’s orientation is a bit deceiving if one is used to looking at standard x- and y-axis plots. If this is the case, imagine the chart flipped 180 degrees. If you managed to perform this mental mirroring successfully, you’d notice that the negative line (solid with black dots) is a good deal higher than the positive (solid with white dots).

In essence, this graph manages to provide a simple visualization of a complex phenomenon. Namely, the negativity bias. It achieves this by showing that the brain’s electrical activity produces a higher current when exposed to a negative stimulus.

So, the negativity bias is not some abstract psychological gobbledegook – but a proven neurobiological fact. In other words, the proof is in the pudding.

Since we no longer require convincing that the negativity bias is indeed real, we’ll now focus our attention on ridding ourselves of it.

How to Overcome the Bias?

“By directing more of our conscious attention toward the positive events and feelings we experience, we can begin to address the asymmetry of negativity bias. And that requires practice…”  ~ Catherine Moore, Positive Psychologist

Forgive the abruptness, but to heck with the quacks and prescription drug companies. Let’s deal with this thing using some positivity!

To assist us with ridding ourselves of this unwanted bias, we turn to the bright minds of the positive psychology movement. For the unawares, positive psychology is defined as “the scientific study of the ‘good life,’ or the positive aspects of the human experience that make life worth living.”

How to Get Rid of Negativity Bias

As newly-minted positive psychologists, how would we go about handling this negativity bias thing?

#1 Use Self-Awareness/Mindfulness

To start with, we’ve got to pay more attention to the thoughts running through our minds.

Read that again. Heck, I’ll write it again: We’ve got to pay more attention to the thoughts running through our minds. Without self-awareness, nothing that we do will matter. Period.

Some Buddhists say that “unconsciousness dissipates in the fiery light of awareness.” While some would argue that this is a subjective statement, others wholeheartedly disagree. It’s been proven throughout thousands of years of spiritual and meditative practice. It is a science of the spirit – and it works.

But don’t take my word for it. Put it to the test!

Here’s how. The next time that you encounter a negative feeling rest your awareness upon it. Don’t think about it – simply sustain your knowledge of it. Eventually, you will feel some space between the perception and your noticing of the feeling. It may manifest as the quality of inner stillness. With practice, this inner stillness will grow. Moreover, it will become more of an automatic response rather than a conscious directing of attention.

In truth, this step may be all that you need. But let’s keep going just in case!

#2 Use the ABC Technique

The ABC technique is nothing new, but it is remarkably effective for challenging negative self-talk. The ‘A’ stands for Activating Event, ‘B,’ Belief, and ‘C,’ Consequences. The model works best with a pen and paper (for reinforcement).

A – Activating Event: What’s the situation that led to the negative thought or emotion? Write it down.

B – Belief: Write down the negative emotions and thoughts.

C – Consequences: Record the negative feelings or behaviors that resulted from (B).

Albert Ellis, who postulated the ABC model, believed that the activating event (A) is not what causes the behavioral consequences (C); instead, it is the person’s faulty interpretations, leading to a faulty belief system (B), that is the cause.

The ABC model is a stable of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but it is an effective framework for helping us identify those misguided emotions and thoughts all the same. When the ABC model is used in conjunction with self-awareness and mindfulness, it becomes a potentially potent tool!

#3 Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Knew this was coming, didn’t you? While one may tire of hearing the words mindfulness and meditation uttered over and over, there’s a good reason.

The writer mentioned the effectiveness of self-awareness and mindfulness previously more specifically, how these tools boil down to spiritual science.

Well, now mainstream science is finally catching up. There is now a vast collection of academic, scientific papers testifying to the effectiveness of meditation for a host of both physical and psychological ailments. Negativity bias included.

In a review of one study, participants who meditated “performed better at tests where they were required to categorize positive stimuli, leading the researchers to conclude that mindfulness practice can have a significant positive impact (emphasis mine)” on negativity bias.

#4 Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring involves the reframing of an event or experience. Similar to the ABC technique, cognitive restructuring is a staple therapy within CBT circles.

One particularly vital element of cognitive restructuring is becoming aware of our cognitive distortions. These include:

‘Filtering’: Focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive (much like negativity bias.)

‘Catastrophizing’: Expecting the worst-case scenario and minimizing the real events.

‘Polarized thinking’: Having an all-or-nothing way of thinking and ignoring the complexity.

‘Heaven’s Reward Fallacy’: You expect to reward your self-sacrifices.

‘Control Fallacies’: Assuming only others are to blame, or assuming that only yourself is to blame.

‘Always Being Right’: Being wrong is unacceptable, and being right supersedes everything.

‘Fallacy of Fairness’: Assuming that life should always be fair.

‘Personalization’: Assuming that only self is responsible.

‘Overgeneralization’: Assuming a rule from a single experience.

‘Jumping to conclusions’: Making assuming based on scant evidence.

‘Emotional reasoning’: “If I feel it, it must be true.”

‘Blaming’: Assuming everyone else is at fault.

‘Fallacy of change’: Expecting others to change.

‘Global labeling’: Extreme generalization.

‘Shoulds’: Holding tight to rules of behavior; judging self and others if rules are broken.

Final Thoughts on Breaking Down Your Negativity Bias

Shedding the skin of negativity bias can be done. You need to work at chipping away at its shell with diligence. It takes a lot of mindfulness and hard work. But with a good dose of positivity, you are well on your way there!


Psychology Explains Why It’s Hard to Admit When You Are Wrong

Psychology Explains Why It's Hard to Admit When You Are

No one wants to admit that they’re wrong. It’s not a comfortable position for you to be in. When you acknowledge that you’ve made a mistake, it makes you feel defenseless, weak, and exposed.

Some say that when you admit that you’re incorrect that it makes you feel somewhat inadequate. Perhaps this is why so many people keep heated arguments and debates going when they should have been finished long ago.

It all comes down to the psychology of the situation. A human needs to feel that they’re correct, even if they’re not. Even when there is evidence that proves your wrong, why is it so hard to admit it?

Emotions Get in the Way of Logic

You’re a complex being that is driven by both instinct and emotion. How often have your feelings taken over and caused you to do or say something that you regretted later? It’s because emotions are powerful, and they can get in the way of your ability to use logic.

When there’s a topic that you care deeply about, your emotions kick into overdrive. Your reasoning skills are thrown out the window as you’re willing to argue to the bitter end over your passions. If there is something that challenges your beliefs, you may find it tough to accept that what you believe isn’t true.

For instance, you may believe that the Earth is flat when the vast majority think it’s round. You can receive proof from scientific studies, but you still feel intense about your opinions. Thus, your emotions get in the way of logic.

Galileo Risked it all For a Heliocentric Beliefs

In the 17th century, the Catholic Church was in an uproar because Galileo, the famous scientist, dared to think that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The Church believed that the sun revolved around the Earth, and since Galileo felt differently, a vast argument came about that split the people.

Galileo was right in his theories, but heliocentric beliefs weren’t commonplace, and they were against the teachings of the ministry. He was labeled a heresy and shunned.

It didn’t matter that Galileo was right, as the Church would never admit they were incorrect. They let pride get in the way, and it took more than 300 years for them to realize he was right finally. Now, you know that the sun was the center of the universe and the Earth revolved around it.

Galileo stood firm in his beliefs, but he wasn’t alive to hear his name vindicated. This story shows that when something challenges what you believe, it’s natural to reject those things. Some may even feel insulted that their beliefs are challenged.

It Takes Immense Strength to Admit You’re Wrong

When someone or something challenges you, it’s natural for you to reject them or their ideas initially. The reason is that you feel that offended, perhaps a bit disrespected, and vulnerable.

You have an instinct inside of you that believes you are correct, and you have pride in your beliefs. Even if you are incorrect, you don’t want to consider it. Did you know that admitting you’re mistaken about something takes immense strength? Have you ever been around someone that wouldn’t admit they were wrong no matter what?

Consider a child with a cookie in his mouth that tells his mom he never got into the cookie jar. The mother can see the chocolate on his face, yet he won’t admit to what he’s done. The child fears that he’s going to get into trouble, or he doesn’t want to let his mother down. To avoid disappointing his mom, he lies.

How often have you been afraid to admit your wrong about a matter because you worry that people might be disappointed in you, think you can do better, or have a different opinion of you once the truth comes out?

Your pride is afraid to put yourself in a vulnerable position so that you may know deep down inside that you’re incorrect in a matter, but you will never admit it.

Vulnerability Isn’t Always a Bad Thing.

Have you ever had a boss that made horrible business decisions, but they would never admit they made a mistake? If they were to accept their blunder, then their employees would question their authority and competency.

Being wrong shows others their inept nature and weakness. Let’s assume that a manager needed to make cuts in his trash company. He felt the logical place to make these deductions was in labor.

The current staff was given over time, and they were on the road more than before. Sure, the company saved money because it didn’t have to pay employee benefits and labor to many people. However, as a result, there were several costly accidents that more than exceeded the amount he cut from the budget.

The employees were exhausted, several quit. Indeed, finding the staff became impossible. The boss made a mistake by pulling money from an area that desperately needed it. However, it’s going to be exceedingly challenging to admit that he was wrong because the employees won’t trust him in future rulings.

How different would the situation be if he went to his staff and admitted he made a mistake and was going to correct it? It could be what was needed to turn the whole company around. Thinking that these employees will forget what happened is delusional and insulting.

Admitting to the mistake and rectifying it quickly will allow people to retain confidence. A manager must be able to develop and maintain relationships, and you can’t do that unless there is trust.

Don’t Be Afraid to Embrace Failures.

When you admit you’ve messed up, it may make things complicated for a while. Think of it like this; “if you take out the trash now, it won’t have time to sit there and stink up the place.”

You will show others your courage and character when you come forward and say that you messed up, then apologize for these actions. A leader doesn’t need to be infallible to be successful. When you accept your imperfections, you can overcome your insecurities and the fears that hold you back.

Did you know that many famous people had to admit they were wrong? History always writes about the victories, but sometimes you must consider the defeats. Remember the famed candy maker Milton Hershey? He built one of the biggest chocolate empires in the world.

People may think that he had it all and was one of the richest men in the country. However, Hershey made many mistakes along the way that cost him everything. He filed for bankruptcy two times on his dream.

The failures of those attempts might have stopped many people, but it only drove him to try harder. The third time, he learned from his mistakes and turned the chocolate world on its head with the Hershey Bar, and the rest is history. What if he didn’t admit defeat and try again?

The world might not have had a Mr. Goodbar or Reese’s peanut butter cup. Hershey is a perfect example of learning from your mistakes, picking yourself up, and trying again.

Living in a Perfect World

Part of the reason why people are so reluctant to admit their failures is that society pushes perfection. There’s nothing immoral with wanting to be a success, but it’s not always attainable. You will stumble, fall, and learn many lessons along the way.

You must learn that failing is both inevitable and necessary in life. It helps you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to grow as a person. Life brings lessons that are sometimes painful, but they are necessary.

Remember the story of Thomas Edison? He created the light bulb, the record player, electric pen, movie cameras, and tons of other things. However, did you know that his teacher told his mother that he was unteachable, and due to his mental deficiencies, he was removed from school?

However, his mother didn’t care about all his mistakes or problems. She homeschooled and taught him everything he needed to know. Though he made many errors in life and had some challenges, he became one of the great minds in history.

Final Thoughts on Learning Life Lessons and Admitting When You Are Wrong

Everyone has flaws, and you are going to make mistakes along the way. Accept that you’re not perfect and that when you stumble, life is just teaching you a lesson. It’s complicated, but once you learn to say, “I was wrong,” it will change everything for you.

People respect those people who can admit defeat, and you will respect yourself too. If all of society were perfect, then it would be a boring world to live in. There is no one else like you on this planet, so you must embrace the times you fall and use them as life lessons to arise bigger and better than before.


Psychology Proves a Link Between Self Esteem and Father Daughter Bonds

Psychology Proves a Link Between Self Esteem and Father Daughter

Girls tend to favor their dad while boys tend to latch on to their mother. These patterns are something observed throughout history. A daughter needs to have a healthy relationship with her father. Psychologists have now proven that it’s essential for the child to develop these relationships to form positive self-esteem.

Why is this relationship between a father and daughter so important? First, little girls all see daddy as their hero and rightfully so. He is the first male figure in her life that she depends on. A daughter develops a relationship with her parents early on as they are her entire world.

Traditionally throughout history, here what happened. Mothers played a pivotal role as the nurturing and caring one. However, a father’s role was just as important. He made sure his daughter was safe and was eager to protect her. These vital roles were based on historical perceptions. Of course, modern parents can cross over into the other position or serve as both.

It’s essential for a child to feel a bond with both parents. However, psychologists have found that when the father-daughter relationship struggles early on, it can cause many emotional challenges. Additionally, a skewed view of dad can cause problems with dating and even marrying a man.

The Formative Years

The father-daughter relationship develops around two years of age. Since the formative years are defined as ages 2-4, this male role needs to be in her life. The bond that develops in these years will last a lifetime.

When a child is going through their formative years, they need both the female and male role. The toddler is asking internal questions such as:

  • Am I okay to be me?
  • What can I explore today?
  • Will mommy or daddy play with me?
  • Who will feed me?

They learn quickly which parent will do specific roles in their care. For instance, if mom feeds the child, then when they are hungry, they will go to mom. However, if mom isn’t around, then they learn dad is a backup. Additionally, they learn the roles that dad plays in their life.

Forming a Sense of Independence

As your child is growing and learning to be more self-sufficient, they use repetition. It’s how they form a sense of independence. They find comfort in knowing that daddy will fix their doll’s arm or take care of their bumps or scrapes.

Safety and security are a significant factor to a young child, especially as they’re learning to walk and talk. Many changes are going on in their lives, and they need the united force of their parents to make them feel safe.

Should dad be demanding with the child and push them too far, it can cause them to doubt their new skills. Both parents must allow a child to use the repetitive nature that comes along during the formative years as it’s essential for growth. Your child needs everything in place so they can master their environment.

Psychology reveals the behaviors that cause children to grow up to become narcissists.

Avoiding Self-Doubt

When a child has a skewed father-daughter relationship, it can cause self-doubt to occur. Doubt can cause a child to place limits on themselves as they grow. These kids usually make derogatory statements such as:

  • I’ll never be good enough to try out for the school play.
  • Everyone else is better than me.
  • I can’t do that spelling bee because I am afraid I will mess up.

The self-doubt that starts in the formative years either from a poor father-daughter relationship or other outlying factors can turn into low self-esteem. When children make such comments as listed above, some say that they are shy or afraid to explore things.

The real problem is that the child is making these statements hoping that someone will give them advice on the matter. A daughter desperately longs for the approval of her parents, and she doesn’t feel free to try new things without a gentle nudge in the right direction. A child uses the rules they’ve learned early on to set the patterns for life.

If a father doesn’t allow children to explore, experiment, and be adventurous, they won’t be curious or welcome experimentation in life.

Negative Patterns Follow Throughout Life

When a parent sees an issue with the child’s esteem, they need to correct the dynamics. If these issues are allowed to flourish, they will be a constant problem well into adulthood. The father-daughter bond is essential, but any negative patterns from childhood must be corrected to change their self-doubting nature.

A self-doubting child turns into an adult who is afraid to go for a job promotion as they are fearful; they can’t keep up with the work. Many are so scared to try anything new or move too far away from their homestead. Girls that don’t have a good father-daughter dynamic may be scared to do anything even in adulthood that might be a little risky.

A father must be encouraging his daughter. They should motivate them to try new things and be adventurous, and they should be on the sidelines, cheering them on in life. Remember, they are going to make errors, but you just need to be there to pick up the pieces. Mistakes are a part of life and how you learn.

Both mothers and fathers need to be supportive of their children as they grow and make blunders. When required, offer advice, but make sure you are a support system and a shoulder to cry on.

Here are 15 rules of etiquette every parent should teach their kids.

Setting The Stage for a Happy Life

Children are a product of their environment. Have you ever heard the statement, “She has daddy issues?” While it’s natural for a girl to want to marry someone like her dad, if the father-daughter dynamic was toxic, it causes problems.

On the flip side, a boy who never had a mother be there for him can have issues in trusting women in life. The most significant gift that a dad can give to their daughter is to teach them respect. Respect is not something that comes freely as it must be earned.

You can show your daughter the true meaning of respect by treating her mother and other siblings well. Being that constant positive in her life sets the stage for how her husband and sons treat her in the future. She will know what to expect and won’t settle for anything less.

Mothers and fathers can both put the wheels in motion for healthy patterns. Girls tend to gravitate to what is familiar to them. It doesn’t matter if her father was a positive or negative force in her life; she will look towards comfortable things.

Being a father is one of the biggest job titles that come with the most significant rewards, so dads have a lot of pressure not to mess up.

Promoting Father-Daughter Bonding

Some dads have a hard time relating to their daughter, as it’s easier to relate to males. However, it would help if you found a way to bridge the divide and do things that your daughter likes to do. For instance, take her to a movie and out to ice cream.

No one is going to refuse a good flick and a sweet treat. Most cities have those daddy-daughter dances around Valentine’s day. While it may be out of your comfort zone, you must go for the sake of your daughter. The memories you will make with her will be priceless.

Try building something together, and you may find that your little girl has a liking to power tools. You can take a cooking class and then use your skills to create dinner for the family. Many girls love to shoot hoops or take a drive in the evening with the music blasting.

When you think about it, you and your daughter would like to do tons of things together. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure you let her be a part of the selection process, so you validate her opinions.

Final Thoughts on the Father Daughter Relationships and Developing Healthy Esteem

Thankfully, it’s never too late for you to work on your relationship with your daughter. Even if you weren’t there for her in her formative years because of divorce or work, you could be there for her now. Did you know that women who grow up and have positive relationships with their parents are generally more confident and well-rounded in life?

Women with confidence choose better partners, have emotionally healthy ways to deal with stress and drama, and often have well-balanced relationships with both males and females. The joy of raising a good child is one of the most significant accomplishments you can have in life.

It’s imperative to work on your father-daughter relationship as it means everything to raising well-adjusted girls that don’t have “daddy issues.”


Psychology Explains Why Humans Like Judging Others

Psychology Explains Why Humans Like Judging Others

Are you a critical person? Do you like to find fault in others that stand out from the crowd or dare to be different? You may not believe yourself to be so negative when it comes to judging others, but your actions may show otherwise.

Let’s assume you’re on a family vacation, and you’re at the airport waiting for your flight. While sitting there, you see a woman and a young child. The toddler is unruly and causing quite a stir in the terminal.

The first thought that comes to your mind is that she cannot control her child. Then, you can’t help but notice that the toddler has food on her shirt, and clothes that are a bit too small. Before you know it, you pick out other imperfections.

By now, you wonder how they can even afford this flight because they could spend that money on clothes instead. See how easy it is to judge someone else? You didn’t know this woman or her story. Yet, you jumped to conclusions based on only what you saw in a few minutes together in a terminal.

Judging others is so effortless than most people don’t even realize they do it. It’s human nature to be alert and in-tune with the things around you. You were built with survival instincts. In the wild, animals notice every movement made by those around them.

According to psychology, these instincts help to keep you on guard and ready to defend yourself at a moment’s notice. The truth is that judging is something that you will do daily, and sometimes you just can’t help it. The other side of this equation is that while you are judging others, they are also judging you. Humbling thought, isn’t it?

Why Do You Judge?

You are so critical of others that you use them as a base of your view of the world. For the same reason, it’s easy for others to judge you in return. Judging others has nothing to do with them, and it’s all about you! That’s a shocking statement, but here are the reasons why you are so critical of others.

1. It Brings Out Your Hidden Feelings

Often, you will become critical of a person and then realize that you do the same thing. For instance, maybe you’re mad because someone had a million questions at the customer service counter ahead of you. You were running late, and you had to return an item.

However, when you stepped up to take your turn, you too had several questions for the worker. See how easy it is to become mad at someone and turn around and do the exact same thing? Being critical only shows your weaknesses or insecurities.

Maybe the whole irritation at the customer service counter had nothing to do with that other customer or their questions, but it had everything to do with your impatience of waiting in line.

2. You Want to Make Yourself Feel Better

Sometimes, it feels good to be judgmental. For instance, you stop at the school to pick your daughter up early for a doctor’s appointment. You go to the office to sign her out.

While you’re at the office, you can’t help but overhear a conversation coming from the inside. A child was being suspended, and the father was shouting at the child, and he was incredibly angry. You smiled with glee as your straight “A” student came to meet you.

All the secretaries were glad to see her, and she greeted them. You felt a sense of pride because your child wasn’t the one getting raked over the coals for behavioral issues. You must be a great parent to raise such a wonderful girl.

This entire scenario is based on a judgmental nature. What you didn’t know is that the child lost his mother in a car accident. His father was an alcoholic and never spent any time with him.

The student’s behavioral issues were a cry for help, and all you wanted to do was compare your child-rearing abilities to that of the other parent. You made an unfair judgment of the situation to make yourself look and feel better.

3. You Have Negative Programming

Did you know that you can program your mind to think a certain way? For instance, if you say to yourself every day how ugly you are, you will soon start to believe it. Now, if you tell yourself how amazing you are and how you can do anything you want in life, you will soon believe that too.

Your words have power. When you speak positive affirmations, your confidence increases. Many people are judgmental because their mind is programmed to see the negative in others, just as you see the terrible things in yourself.

Did you know that most judgments are made based on an outward appearance? You assume lots of things about people based on their status in society, home life, and work, and it’s only visual. The sad thing is that your perceptions skew your view.

One horrible stereotype is if a person is skinny that they are healthy and come from an affluent family. However, if a person is on the heavier side, they are unhealthy and must have an unfortunate socioeconomic position in life. Your mind automatically thinks a poor person is irrelevant.

Your heart may recognize that your mind is making a snap decision, but it’s human nature to judge those who don’t meet up to the standards you’ve set for your life.

There are times when you feel insecure. When you use your time judging others, then you can take the focus off you. Plus, it feels good to point out the faults in others and forget yours for a while.

4. It Shifts the Focus from You

The most critical crowd around happens to be middle and high school-aged students. They like to point out anything that doesn’t fit in with the normal teenager at the school. Anyone who might do their hair differently or dress a little peculiar is a target of bullying.

Bullying is an extreme form of judging someone. These kids find that when they engage in conversation that is putting others down, many teens will join in with them and give their opinions. So, it’s easy to say that judging others can also come with a sense of bonding.

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5. You Lack Information

Have you ever participated in people watching? Some folks love to go to a public place and just watch others. It gives them a wide perspective of all the characters that are out there.

No one is the same, and wouldn’t it be a boring world if there were no differences. Some people watchers do it for a learning experience while others tend to be more critical. Sit on a bench at the mall, airport, grocery store, or a restaurant.

In a short period, you will see people from all walks of life. There will be many cultures, age groups, and styles observed. In those few minutes, you will make snap decisions about them based on nothing more than their personal appearance.

You may see an older woman with bright pink lipstick on and a loud yellow dress. Her colorful outfit maybe too much for your eyes, but what you don’t know is that she’s cancer-free for one year now, and she used bright colors to help boost her mood.

Of course, you had no way of knowing that, based on what you saw. You didn’t have the proper information to make an informed judgment. What if you sat down and talked to her for 10 minutes about her journey? Would you still make the same harsh judgments?

The Costs of Criticizing Others

It may seem that you can be negative about others without any recompense. However, karma is a powerful thing. Whatever critical views and opinions you meter out to others will certainly come back to you.

Being critical can make you feel horrible, especially when you hurt others. Sadly, this attitude in life helps to perpetuate stereotypes in society. All the negativity you spew out is like venom that is destroying good in the world.

Final Thoughts: Fix Your Negativity so You Can Stop Judging Other People

To fix this negative perception, you must step back and take a good look in the mirror. What is so wrong in your life that you must find fault in others? You’re not the judge or the jury, so ask yourself these questions before rushing to a verdict:

•Do I know this person?
•Am I being fair to them?
•Do I know the whole story, or am I just surmising?
•How would I feel if they thought this about me?

When you ask yourself these questions, you are interrupting your negative thought patterns. It doesn’t feel right to have others look at you and make opinions based on things they know nothing about. Rather, why not find something positive to think about that person.

To the woman with the little girl in the airport terminal, you could have asked her if she needed a hand. You should have thought she was doing a good job by having a young one by herself, as she was flying across the country. When you start looking at things through the eyes of optimism, then it will change your whole outlook.


Psychology Explains What Eye Contact Says About Your Personality

Psychology Explains What Eye Contact Says About Your Personality

They say that your eyes are the window to your soul. When these spiritual windows are open to others, what can they decipher about you? Psychologists assert that your eye contact says a lot about your personality.

Most predatory animals, including humans, have forward-facing eyes that give them a binocular vision. Our early ancestors could easily focus on their prey as well as dangerous animals and situations to avoid. Your eyes still provide safety and are continually processing pictures of the world around you.

Did you know that roughly half of your body’s sensory receptors are found in your eyes? They can detect visible light wavelengths up to 700 nanometers and many spectra of colors. Six extrinsic eye muscles control their complex movement.

When you combine positions of your eyelids and eyebrows, your eyes help to create instantly recognizable expressions. Humans are adept at interpreting eye contact, so we assume that someone looking into our eyes has nothing to hide. How you use your eyes to communicate with others usually mirrors what you are feeling or thinking.

What the Eyes Say Without Uttering a Word

Here is why eye contact is an essential part of your body language.

Think of all the idioms you’ve heard about eyes and personality. They say a shifty-eyed person can’t be trusted. “She loves him, and you can see it in her eyes.” “He couldn’t even look me in the eyes and tell me the truth.”

Good eye interaction with others suggests that you are confident in your abilities. People may view you as more successful, and you may have better leadership qualities than those who avert their eyes. Your gaze may reveal an attraction to another, or it can imply aggression and malice.

Some cognitive disorders, such as the autistic spectrum, are known for their avoidance of connecting with other people’s eyes. Many people who battle depression, anxiety, or ADHD have difficulty focusing their eyes, especially when in a conversation. For others, eye connection aversion may be low self-esteem from a lack of confidence and basic shyness.

Understanding Eye Communication

While you assume that anyone who looks you eye-to-eye is telling the truth, it’s not necessarily so. Pathological liars often use eye connection to manipulate people into believing their lies. They often become so jaded that they can lie without as much as a blink. Here are some other things your eyes can show.

• Friendliness and Familiarity

When you are in public and surrounded by strangers, you can expect to meet a few people’s glances. However, most people only look strangers in the face for only a couple seconds, and then they look away. Looking at someone any longer becomes staring, and it makes others feel uncomfortable.

Friends and acquaintances will usually meet your eyes in a longer, natural way. Close friends and family can often look into your eyes and intuitively know how you feel before asking. You may tell them that you are feeling fine, but your eyes can betray you.

• Authority and Trustworthiness

If you want others to respect your authority, you must look them straight in the eyes when you talk. Would you have much confidence in a person in leadership who was shy and kept averting his eyes? When you make direct eye contact and smile while conversing with or addressing a group, people will respect you more and will assume you are successful and trustworthy.

eye health

• Mutual Attraction

The eyes are only second to the heart when it comes to stories, songs, and art about love and romance. When you are attracted to someone, you instinctively gaze into his eyes as he does yours. Scientific research demonstrates that people who are attracted to each other look into the others’ eyes more often and for extended periods.

Do you want a special someone to be more than just friends? How do you look him in the eyes? He may think you aren’t interested if he sees you avoiding his eyes and looking all around.

Eye connection in sexuality is another point that divides us from the animals. Unlike most of them, humans are usually intimate face-to-face and eye-to-eye. We often feel more attracted to those who express attraction to us in their eyes.

• Intimidation

Have you ever watched two cats locked into a staring contest? In the animal kingdom, staring allows them to size up their adversaries. There is a wild glare that means a clash of wills is about to happen.

While we are not felines, we still use our eyes to intimidate others, often without thinking. Remember the sharp glance your mother gave you when you were misbehaving in public? She didn’t have to say a word, but you got the point.

• Memory Enhancement

Why is it that you may forget names, but you hardly ever forget a face? Your brain is making countless references and notations when you look into another person’s eyes. Your first impression of this person may be what her eyes tell you.

It will trigger a memory in your brain when you meet the person again and make eye contact. For this reason, psychologists encourage people to look at each other when meeting and often during conversation. Not only does it suggest to the other person that you are genuinely interested in what she has to say, but you will be more likely to remember her and the conversation.

Do Your Eyes Have It? Different Types of Eye Avoidance

How can you use proper eye contact to your advantage? Do you want to reflect confidence and honesty? Here are some helpful ways to identify common eye contact problems and how to improve them.

Signs from your eyes to never ignore

• The Low Looker

In many cultures, it is considered rude and forward to look at someone straight in the eyes, especially those of authority. A downcast glance shows reverence, respect, and humility. Unfortunately, women were often taught to keep their head and eyes lowered as a sign of loyalty and subservience.

If you are a low looker, then train yourself to hold your head high and meet other people’s eyes. Keep good posture, let your eyes show that you are friendly, intelligent, and subservient to no one.

• The Kewpie Doll

Have you ever seen one of these iconic baby dolls with their pixie smile and adorable side glance? You wonder what they are thinking. Whether it is from nervous tension or learned behavior, many people often avoid direct eye contact by looking to the side or a corner of the room.

“Kewpie dolls” personalities often have a difficult time when they are in leadership and must address a group. Are you one of these who keep your eyes glued to a corner rather than face your audience? Practice speaking in a mirror and retrain your eyes to look at the eyes of your listeners.

• The Rapid- Fire Blinker

Some people have a nervous tick in their eyes that often gets worse when they are talking to people, or they experience eye twitching. While they try to keep their eyes focused during a conversation, all the other people can see is a flurry of blinks and twitches. If they gradually gain control of their eyelids, a rapid-fire blinker may also be a low-looker or a kewpie doll.

Some rapid-fire blinkers not only blink, but they often have conversations with their eyes closed. Occasionally, they may open their eyes to flash a bit or to acknowledge what the other person is saying, but their eye contact is limited.

Do you want to remedy your Rapid-Fire Blinker habit and practice good eye connection? Since rapid blinking may be symptoms of a physical or mental condition, consult your professional healthcare provider. Practice keeping your gaze steady and relaxing your eyes.

• Give Your Eyes a Rest

Although making good eye connection is beneficial in a conversation, there can be too much of a good thing. When you are having a discussion with another person, some eye movement is expected. A thoughtful pause to glance up and think about what the person is saying is helpful because a constant stare will make others uneasy.

• Practice Makes Progress

Some people are naturally talented conversationalists, but you can learn these skills with practice. Maintaining proper eye connections with others can be practiced in front of a mirror or with a trusted friend. If you have one or more of these common eye aversion characteristics, you can retrain yourself.

As you talk to the mirror or your practice partner, train yourself to rest your sight at the other person’s eye level. If he wears glasses, you could focus on the rims or study his eyebrows, if you feel uneasy about looking pupil to pupil.

If you feel your eyes going back into their old habit of aversion, gently bring them back into focus. Ask your trusted practice partner to give you honest feedback and to let you know when your eyes aren’t making the proper connection.

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Final Thoughts on Using Proper Eye Contact in Life

Using proper eye interaction in your professional and personal life can tell others a lot about you. Show people that you are self-confident and can make eye contact when you are conversing. You’ll discover that people will be more apt to confide in you and will see the confident, fascinating person you are.