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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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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 Tears

Some old ideas can readily be replaced with new ones.  For example, when I was young I thought that a whale was a huge fish. One day, my teacher explained that actually a whale is a mammal and then she explained why it helps scientists to make this type of distinction.  After that single lesson, I had no problem whatsoever remembering the major points that…

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Bob Dylan On Fools

Bob Dylan begins episode 47 of his show, Theme Time Radio Hour, with a beautiful instrumental version of “Why Do Fools Fall In Love.” After a few bars of this tune, it continues in the background as Bob begins to speak: James Thurber once said, “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time,” and for the next hour we’re going…

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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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The Art and Abuse of Insults

Many of my posts leave some feeling like I insulted them.  In one post, for example, I took the position that when it comes to responding to criticism there are four levels of maturity.  Some people who respond to criticism in a way that matches the description of the immature levels let me know that they felt I had insulted them. In another post, I…

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To Listen, Or To Criticize?

In the above Sally Forth comic strip, we learn from Ted that Sally had a fight with her sister.  By the third panel, Ted begins to criticize Sally, saying she is coming off like a robot, and then he expresses his view that she had been kind of dismissive of her sister’s news about becoming engaged. In the last panel, I get the feeling that…

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