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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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Einstein and Stupidity

“Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.”–Albert Einstein In the spring of 1914, Albert Einstein left his home in Switzerland to take a job at the University of Berlin in Germany’s capital.  He was then, 35. He took the job with much misgivings.  When he was a young boy living in Germany, Einstein…

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Suicide, Perfectionism, and Criticism

Sometimes I’m asked why I write so much about dealing with criticism. The answer mostly has to do with the types of concerns that have been expressed to me over the years. Some involve the desire to be liked and respected.  Others have to do with seeking to gain control over anger.  And still others come from parents who find that how they go about…

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Women and Criticism

On this blog, I often discuss immature and mature ways to deal with criticism. The advice that I offer is designed to be helpful to males and females alike.  But recently, in an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, Tara Mohr argues that when it comes to criticism, women can benefit from advice specifically targeted to the unique cultural situation that they find themselves in.   The…

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Conflict Resolution and The Wisdom of Abraham

Sometimes we observe people doing things that seem terribly wrong. We may then find, welling up from within, an urgent desire to provide negative criticism. In earlier posts, in an effort to provide some guidance on how to avoid expressing our concerns in a form that can potentially make a bad situation far worse, I provided a description of 5 levels of maturity for providing…

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Dealing with Criticism: A Calvin and Hobbes Lesson

For most of us, improving our skills at dealing with criticism takes some practice.  If we do this in a safe situation in which we will not expose ourselves to potential embarrassment, we can think more clearly about what is going on.  Once we become very clear about how we would like to handle various situations involving criticism, it becomes easier to apply these skills…

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Fear, Cowardliness, and the Military

Last week my blog post asked, “Does Your Fearfulness Make You a Coward?”  While attempting to answer this question, I pointed out that viewing yourself as a coward when you experience fear consumes time and energy. Moreover, it is way too simplistic. Fear is actually a highly valuable emotion. It motivates us to take some wise precautions. And the fact that some people can fearlessly perform…

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IS CALLING SOMEONE IMMATURE AN INSULT?

In the above scenario, when Andy calls Marsha immature, does he insult her? Hmmm.  Before answering this question, I think I’ll first take a little peek over here in my Webster’s College Dictionary. Considering Webster’s Definitions of “Insult” I see here that one definition of insult is “a deliberately discourteous or rude remark or act that humiliates, wounds the feelings, and arouses anger: an insult…

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LEARNING TO HANDLE CRITICISM MATURELY: A PRACTICE SESSION UTILIZING COMIC STRIP EXAMPLES

In an earlier post, eight reasons were given for why someone might criticize or insult you. Becoming familiar with the various reasons is helpful because once you identify the reason, it becomes easier to choose a plan to maturely deal with the criticism.  If you see that someone is just playfully teasing you, just a smile may be all that is needed as a response. …

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