Love Me? Agree With Me!

In these polarized times, it is impossible not to be affected by the conflicts we see/hear/observe around us. As a result, relationships reflect the turmoil and bring up values and beliefs we may not have been aware of. Even when you have known another person for years, there is always some little corner, some quirk that never emerged. This is true for all of us because our life experiences mold us in concert with our unique genes. If you have never had to swim, how would you know what it would feel like? Situations bring up fears and anxiety, and […]

Anger In A Relationship

Anger is a state of arousal in response to an expectation of frustration, or of an obstacle to where you want to go or what you want to do. The dictionary defines it as: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. It is a natural emotion. But it is not perceived as positive. Many people grow up in families where the expression of anger is clearly discouraged and labeled as bad. What is important is b being able to differentiate between the experience of anger and the form it takes in expression. When one shows anger by physical violence, […]

Can Conflict Be Healthy?

There exists a generalization that what creates conflict or an argument between partners typically involves money or sex. There is often much truth to this, but daily life brings all kinds of topics and situations that create conflict between people. So, is it human nature that we bicker or have a verbal fight? Even identical twins who grow up in the same family end up having differences in opinions, beliefs, expectations, or preferences. So, if conflict cannot be avoided, what is the best way to deal with it? I have heard people claim that they “never” fight. That tells me […]

Psychological Safety

Are there times in a group or with a partner/friend, you want to say something but don’t? What guides your decision to stay quiet or speak up? We are living in times when a lot of people feel strongly about issues but may keep their thoughts or opinions to themselves. But then there are others who declare what is on their minds without regard to other people’s reactions as well. Accepting that one was wrong seems to be difficult for many people. Why is that? We all know that no individual can be right all the time. The cultural messages […]

Disconnect And Reconnect

The past year and a half saw many connections put on hold, stymied, dropped, or outright rejected. Some of the reasons involved differences of opinion, fears of being around people, or even taking the option of not connecting. Now that we are slowly entering another phase of dealing with this pandemic, the variant notwithstanding, do we reconnect? Do we continue to isolate? Do we reevaluate those friendships, relationships, and connections with a new perspective regarding their place in our lives? What I hear from several people, present company included, is that we all have started to take another look of […]

Resilience Needed. Again.

We are living in a time of turmoil and transition. Just as it seemed the road was open, there came another obstacle to clear, a hurricane to go through, or debris to throw away. So once again, we have to tap into our resources to claim the energy to persist, the determination to hang onto our resolve and to maintain the hope that we will prevail. That our vaccinated, mask-wearing and distancing family, friends, neighbors, or other people we come in contact with, will do the same so we can overcome an invisible virus that kills. In this process, it […]

Pride in Pride

As I look at these light displays in two of Baltimore’s iconic buildings, I am aware that in all the years, it is the first time that this has happened here. I think of how the White House was bathed in rainbow colors when marriage equality became a reality. I think of friends and acquaintances who are now wife and wife, and husband and husband. I think of the couples who are now enjoying parenthood. And I feel proud. Then my other, more realistic side kicks in: The bills being introduced against trans kids and adults, the effort to deny […]

Off to the Races

(Photo by Laura Gilchrist on Unsplash) We are in the middle of the horseracing season, what with the Kentucky Derby and the Pimlico Preakness already over. We are also in the middle of emerging from more than a year of hibernation to protect ourselves and our loved ones from a deadly virus. This change in lifestyle with the isolation, the diminished social and physical contact (read: hugs at the very least) meant that our relationships were affected in many ways. Those who lived alone and those who had others in the household experienced reactions ranging from increased senses of loneliness, […]

Blah Days And Anniversaries

Photo credit: Adrian Swancar, unsplash.com) It has been many months of indistinguishable days, warped time concept, fatigue, losses in many ways, and just getting through what we have to do, again and again. In a very thoughtful and informative article, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, uses the term “languishing” for this state of the world:(https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html).  Whatever you may call it, we all have to recognize that none of us, in this universe, is immune to the pandemic and its effects. The question then becomes, how do we deal with this in our relationships, friendships and even more so, within ourselves? […]

Conflicts With The Loved One

It has been a long year of isolation, fear, anxiety, loneliness, loss and restrictions. Not that we could not find some green shoots, some positive aspects with what life brought us. But overall, the consequences of a long period of dealing with a pandemic is showing up in our behaviors and moods. There is a huge increase in demand for mental health resources with predictions of future cardiological issues in the population. In addition to those health concerns, we have also had to deal with a fiercely divided and polarized community. This is where relationships have taken a major hit. […]