Perfectionism — the pursuit of unrealistic standards for ourselves and for our partner — inevitably creates difficulties in the relationship (in general) and in the bedroom (in particular). Psychologists and relationship counselors around the world encourage greater tolerance of human imperfection and a recalibration of expectation.
Many couples struggle with the giving and receiving of criticism. Often framed in ways that shame, blame, belittle or humiliate, criticism is rarely well-received and usually results in defensiveness and disengagement. A helpful way to get around these pitfalls is to think in terms of constructive, honest and engaged feedback.
In an article in today’s New York Times entitled Hello, Stranger (4.25.14), Professors Elizabeth Dunn (Univ. of BC) and Michael Norton (Harvard Business School) describe how the casual social interactions we often avoid may lift our spirits and actually make us happier. This has definitely been my own experience. I share here selections from their article.
In a compelling piece in yesterday’s New York Times (Ease and Ardor, 2.27.14), op-ed columnist David Brooks takes a close look at two of the greatest essayists who ever lived: Michel de Montaigne and Samuel Johnson.
Brooks notes how the two men tackled similar problems and were fascinated by some of the same perplexities, yet emerged with different attitudes towards adversity and living life: Montaigne focused on self-understanding and self-acceptance, while Johnson sought self-conquest and self-improvement; where the former sought a life of wisdom and restraint, the latter pursued a life of improvement and ardor.
A renowned scholar on the psychology of women and family relationships, Harriet Lerner is the author of numerous articles and eleven books on relationships and connection, among them New York Times bestseller The Dance of Anger, Women in Therapy, and The Mother Dance.
New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks writes this week of one family’s trauma, following the death of their 27-year-old daughter and the severe injury of their second daughter, Catherine, a few years later at the age of 26. He shares lessons drawn by the Woodiwisses, which at least apply to their own experience, about how those of us outside the zone of trauma might better communicate with those inside the zone.
As we connect more and more through social networks, are we becoming more and more social? A video entitled The Innovation of Loneliness, produced by talented digital artist Shimi Cohen, addresses the question of whether our over-indulgence in social media is at the expense of real and vulnerable conversation. The video has been spiraling its way rapidly through (you guessed it…) the internet.
Writes Rich Lowry this week in the New York Post: “One wonders particularly after reading an extraordinary essay, “Do Elephants Have Souls?” published in The New Atlantis (Winter/Spring 2013).