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Resolve Conflicts In Private Whenever Possible

One day I was presenting to a high school class a lesson on mature ways to resolve conflicts when a student we will call Tony raised his hand. When I called on him, he said, “Dr. Rubin, how would you resolve this? This here Tina (he points to her) and I were dating, and now I decided to end it. I’m seeing another girl. But…

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On Slamming Insubordinate Student Down

Is There a Reasonable Alternative

By now, most of you have repeatedly seen the shaky video that shows a police officer grabbing an insubordinate sixteen-year-old female student, Shakara, who is sitting at her desk. When the officer’s hand is very close to the student’s throat, she hits at his arm. The officer then flips her over and flings her to the front of the classroom. The student reportedly refused to…

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Bob Dylan On the Devil

Well, once again I decided to listen to one of Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour shows. This time his topic was the devil. The show begins with stirring music that sounds like an enormous storm is moving in, and then Bob says, “This is Theme Time Radio Hour and there’s hell to pay.” He then launches into a reading of a little section of John…

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Einstein and the Nature of Blame, Guilt, Responsibility, and Respect

In our society, the idea of self-reliance is often viewed positively. And yet, it is our nature to benefit in numerous ways from others. As Albert Einstein beautifully articulated in a book titled, Living Philosophies: A Series of Intimate Credos: “From the standpoint of daily life…there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men–above all for those upon…

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Comics, Conflicts and the Desire to be Liked

Habitual ways of acting often can’t be overcome by a single discussion. Thus, it helps to bring before our conscience some ideas a few times over the course of several months.  With that in mind, let’s review some of the ideas we have discussed earlier on this blog about conflict and the desire to be liked.  By utilizing a fresh new batch of comics I…

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Bob Dylan on Madness

As some of you may know, Bob Dylan has a show called “Theme Time Radio Hour.” As the title suggests, each episode is centered on a theme. He begins his episode on madness as follows: “Let me ask you a few questions, friends. Are you disinterested in work or family life? Do you suffer from sleep disruption? Have you had significant changes in appetite? Have…

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A Conversation About Unsolicited Criticism

A while back, I published on this blog a post titled, “Unsolicited Criticism: Good or Bad?” Regular readers may recall that it begins as follows: “Judy, it’s so nice to see you,” I say as she comes into my office and sits down on my couch. “I’ve been reading your blog again, Dr Rubin.  It’s filled with a bunch of hogwash.” “Hmmm, it sounds like…

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Exaggerating the Benefits of Anger

“Are you going to vote for the new school facility plan, Marc?” “No, Phil.  It calls for combining the two high schools in our town so that there will be nearly 2,000 students in the combined school.  I prefer small schools.  I say, keep them small, keep them personal.” Turning red and glaring into Marc’s eyes, Phil begins to holler, “What are you, stupid? We…

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Providing Negative Criticism: The Newest Guidelines

Readers of this blog well know that I often discuss immature and mature ways to provide negative criticism. Originally, I presented a post titled PROVIDING NEGATIVE CRITICISM: FIVE LEVELS OF MATURITY.  There, in addition to providing an outline of what I believed was a good starting point to think about this topic, I asked readers for suggestions on how the outline could be improved. Many…

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Psychiatric Name Calling: Is it Helpful?

Today I offer a follow-up to my earlier post titled “Name Calling by Psychiatrists: Is it Time to Put a Stop to it?” Among the points that I had tried to make is that psychiatrists falsely claim that the names they use to describe patients are “diagnoses.”  In actuality, all that they do is convert someone’s expressed concerns into medical jargon. I received a great deal…

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