How to Connect in Isolation

(Photo credit: Robert V. Ruggiero – Unsplash.com) Did you see that the Netherlands was advising single people to quarantine with a “seksbuddy”? (Read it here) Leave it to the Scandinavians to merge liberal views with creativity, to foster resilience and safety from a virus. Good idea, no? Of course, there is the issue of how you choose a healthy or uninfected person. But how do you date without jeopardizing yourself or the other, when we can be asymptomatic but can pass it on? This pandemic has not only created much anxiety and fear around being physically close to others, but […]

Coronavirus Does Not Discriminate

While we are all dealing with isolation, social distancing, face coverings, not hugging or shaking hands and all the unusual things we are living with, I try to look if there can be some sort of a positive end result from this. Not for those whom we have lost, but for all those who live through this crisis, and survive to talk about it. Negativity exacerbates the stress of coping with daily life; if we cannot find some hope, some green shoot somewhere, it becomes a drudge to get through any challenging period. So the virus does not discriminate as […]

Maximum Anxiety

One month into social distancing, none of us is immune to the anxiety created by an unimaginable situation of fighting a powerful and threatening enemy that we cannot see or touch. So if you have found that you are having bizarre dreams, join the club! Whether you are single and live alone, or have a partner or other family, anxiety and depressive thoughts are now to be expected. What triggers anxiety? It is an automatic response, and not something we choose to bring on. It is the body and mind’s response to what is perceived as a threat to the […]

Love in Hard Times

When we are doing what social responsibility dictates, whether or not rules are imposed, how do we maintain our connections with people? As we are witnessing, there is a lot being written, discussed or displayed that underscores how crucial it is to be close to other human, and living beings. Over 50 years ago, Harry Harlow, a psychologist, tested the notion that babies bond with mothers because of satisfaction of physiological needs such as food and water. Contrary to that hypothesis, it turned out that his subjects, rhesus monkeys, sought maternal contact as the primary motivator. Postulating from animals to […]

Living With Isolation

As you read this, it will be about 3 weeks that we all have been practicing social distancing, and isolating in case of those who may have had contact with someone who tested positive. It is difficult to predict how we will be affected by this in the long run, but we do know that prisoners in solitary confinement suffer tremendously. Levels of anxiety and depression go up to be debilitating. We are dealing with a situation most of us never even imagined could happen to us. So let’s take a look at how we may deal with it in […]

My Inner Critic

Do you have that voice in your head that criticizes you when you do something? The one that wants you to be perfect in everything? The one that triggers a sense of blame? Alfred Adler, the Austrian psychiatrist and therapist, held that, “To be a human being means to possess a feeling of inferiority which constantly presses towards its own conquest.” His Individual Psychology was based on this belief. He has stated that “… a child enters the world. It is helpless, small, and needs attention. What effect does this have on the child? What influences how the child adapts […]

On Ghosting

Have you been ghosted? Have you ghosted someone? If you go back some years, this term would merely evoke visions of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Now it seems to have become a thing. I hear mostly from people who have been ghosted and how they dont like it. Once in a while someone talks about doing this to another and accepting that it is an easy way out. Uncoupling is not a pleasant process whether you are the initiator or the target. What factors do you look at to end a relationship? Love is gone? Too boring? Partner has become […]

Love & Empathy

Valentine’s Day brings up all kinds of emotions, some positive, some negative, and perhaps mostly mixed. There are memories of lost opportunities, of climactic meetings, of joyful reunions, and of bitter breakups. Then there also those who couldn’t care less about the day. However one may think of V-Day, it does bring up the discussion on what love is, how one defines it, and how any of us is affected by it. Love comes in different contexts: Romantic love, parental love, love for friends, for the country, and even love for preferences (Chocolate, anyone?). Whichever form of love you want […]

Do We Need Conflict in a Relationship?

Imagine this scenario: Your partner and you have similar temperament. You both like some solitude and time for yourself separately, and then enjoy being with one another and with friends. You are on the same page with political views, religious beliefs, and even follow a vegan diet. Heavenly? Or not? Personality theories on relationships predicting harmony vary from it being enhanced by similarity or by compatibility. The more similar we are to our partners, the less the conflict. However, one of the glitches in the human mind is that change towards improvement does not come when all is well and […]

New Year, New You?

So we are close to starting to write “2020” on all communications that require a date. Without getting into the perennially useless new year resolutions, what are you looking forward to doing better in your relationships? This does not only refer to romantic ones, but also to family, friends and colleagues. The oft-used slogan has been “New year, new you.” I prefer to look forward to improving the connections I already have while being open to new ones. A recent blog in Scientific American (Blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/which-personality-traits-are-most-predictive-of-well-being) discusses which aspects of our personality contributes most to a sense of well-being. The well-known […]