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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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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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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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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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On Responding to the N-word

Leonard Pitts, Jr. is a columnist, author of three novels and winner of numerous awards including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.  When I heard a couple of weeks ago that he was speaking at Flagler College, having enjoyed reading his insightful column for many years, I eagerly went to see him.  Mr. Pitts’s formal presentation was well received.  Then, he began to take questions…

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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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PUTTING DOWN NON-GROUP MEMBERS

On this blog, I have often discussed various reasons why someone might throw insults at you, and, depending on the reason, how to maturely deal with these challenging experiences (see for example, “Insults: A Comic Strip Guide“).  If John is throwing an insult at you because he is in a bad mood, just asking in a concern manner, “Is everything OK, John, you sound like…

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DEALING WITH SUBTLE FORMS OF CRITICISM

If you have been following this blog, you know that from time to time I have been discussing insults and criticism.  In earlier posts, we looked at situations in which people end up feeling insulted because someone provided negative criticism. I have argued that rather than to feel insulted, it is possible to learn to welcome criticism, as well as words that might come off…

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THE ART OF PLAYFUL TEASING

Teasing is a game sometimes known as bantering, joshing, crackin’, rankin’, playing the dozens, and trash talk.  You are judged in part on the quality of your insults and also how well you keep your cool on being insulted. Even the most mature people may like to play the teasing game, for they enjoy the duel of wits and the occasional humorous comeback. MATURE VERSUS…

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CRITICIZING YOURSELF MATURELY: A LESSON FROM BLONDIE

Over the course of the last few weeks I presented some lessons that aim to get you to think about immature and mature ways to provide negative criticism to yourself (see CRITICIZING YOURSELF: FIVE LEVELS OF MATURITY and CRITICIZING YOURSELF MATURELY: A COMIC STRIP LOVER’S GUIDE). As I’ve pointed out on many occasions, becoming a master at utilizing the higher levels of maturity takes more than just thinking…

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