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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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Supreme Court Justices Dealing with Their Disagreements

On this blog, we have been discussing the question, “Is it possible that there are immature and mature ways to handle our disagreements?” To help answer this question, I have, very tentatively, proposed five levels of maturity for providing criticism (see here) and five levels of maturity for responding to criticism (see here and here). In defending these levels of maturity, I have pointed out…

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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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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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The Desire for Happiness

Dealing with the frustration that goes along with challenging conflicts has some similarities to sailors dealing with stormy seas—it is best to utilize a well-rehearsed plan. For dealing with conflicts, one such plan begins with thinking of the word “DIG.”  With a little practice, we can use this word to remind us of a simple way to summarize the conflict even in the midst of…

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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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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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