How Optimism Can Be Learned

Optimism, it turns out, isn’t just defined as the tendency to expect things to turn out better than probability predicts, nor is pessimism defined only as the tendency to expect things to turn out more poorly. Both terms are also used to describe the way we think about the causes of adversity, pessimism in particular […]

The True Cause Of Cruelty, Redux

Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography

In seventh grade I once found myself in the school gym locker room changing before class when a group of my classmates began bullying a boy named Pino for having breasts (a condition called gynecomastia that sometimes occurs in young boys at puberty, usually resolving spontaneously). I failed to rise […]

The Biggest Mistake Patients Make

Photo: Sarah Reid

The biggest mistake patients make isn’t what you think. It isn’t turning down tests or treatments their doctors recommend. Nor is it deciding not to take the medicines their doctors prescribe. It isn’t insisting on getting a test or beginning a treatment their doctors recommend against, either, and it isn’t failing […]

How To Manage Your Partner’s Bad Moods

Photo: Brad Fults

As with most things in life, romantic relationships are, for many of us, a double-edged sword: while most find it wonderful to love and be loved, developing intimate emotional ties to someone makes us emotionally vulnerable—vulnerable not only to being hurt by our partner’s opinions of and feelings toward us, but […]

The Secret To Achieving Anything You Want

Photo: Nickolai Kashirin

Evolution may have been wise in programming us all to avoid pain (given the survival advantage it clearly provides), but one important “unintended” consequence of that programming is that we tend to view pain in general—psychological and physical both—as experiences to be avoided at all costs. This shunning of all pain, […]