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The Mental Illness Construct: Does it Reduce Shame and Guilt?

Some people find that their actions are violating certain societal norms and feel guilty and ashamed about this. When they try to stop doing these actions, they may find they can’t just stop, and thus they end up feeling even more guilty and ashamed. Some parents, when they see their offspring act in ways that violate certain societal norms, find that they feel guilty and…

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Abusive Criticism In Big Time Sports

What can we learn from it?

It’s the bottom of the eighth inning. The talented star, Bryce Harper, front runner for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, hits a pop fly to left field that a professional outfielder is very likely to catch. However, there are times when such fielders do lose the ball in the sun or the stadium lights, and the ball ends up being dropped, allowing the batter…

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Mean Bosses

This blog has frequently advocated that it is beneficial for all if we treat others respectfully. At times we focussed on a respectful way to provide negative criticism–no glares, insults, threats, or shouts, and with enough details so that the criticized person, if he or she wills, can improve the behavior, idea, or appearance. At other times, we focussed on the best way to respond to…

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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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Insults By Jews As Works Of Art

Recently I visited Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History.  Some of the floors were devoted to a single theme.  For example, there was a floor devoted to “Chasing Dreams,” which celebrated baseball and the many fans, players, and characters from minority groups who helped shape our American story.  And there was a floor devoted to Jews as immigrants coming to America. Each exhibit was…

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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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Psychiatric Name Calling: Is Science to Blame?

A couple of weeks ago I raised the question, “Name Calling by Psychiatrists: Is it Time to Put a Stop to it?”  In response, some blamed the insurance companies and other third party payers for the name calling. Because it is true that these payers do require the pathologizing of people seeking mental health services, in last week’s article, I took a close look at that issue….

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Psychiatric Name Calling: Are the Insurance Companies to Blame?

Last week, I posted an article titled “Name Calling by Psychiatrists: Is it Time to Put a Stop to it?” It created quite a stir and it’s currently challenging my two previous most popular posts—“Teaching Children How to to Deal with Criticism” and “Is it Wise to be Assertive?”—for the number one spot. The article points out that by using the term “diagnosis” in psychiatric terminology…

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Internet Meanies

Not long ago, I was flipping through the New York Times when I happened to come upon a story titled Dealing With Digital Cruelty by Stephenie Rosenbloom.  It had been a year since I had written a post about a particularly sad incident of internet cruelty.  Back then, 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick had leaped to her death after being cyberbullied by a coterie of 15 middle-school…

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Providing Criticism with Shouting, Insults and Threats: Is There a Place for It?

“Left turn!” hollers the drill sergeant to his new recruits. Private Smith begins to turn right, but catches his mistake as he notices the other recruits turning in the correct manner.  He manages, although a bit clumsily, to end up turning left. “Boy, don’t you know your left from your right?” the drill sergeant shouts in Private Smith’s face. “Yes, Drill Sergeant.” “I’m so glad…

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