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 where we are, where we are going, and if we should change the path we follow. For some people, it means ending a relationship. For others, it means working to make the relationship better, to take a look at what is important, our own needs, or how we can meld those with the partner’s in a collaborative way. For some, “me” has become “we” as we appreciate each other’s presence in difficult times.
In addition to the stress of the pandemic, we have been living in a severely polarized world. Many friendships and connections were affected, if not broken, because disagreements seemed to make for “enemies.” I am convinced, more than ever, that we should teach conflict resolution starting in elementary schools. As adults, name calling should not be how we settle discussions that degenerate to arguments.
What happened to being our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper? Come on people! Let’s bring on compassion and gratitude into our friends and families. Let’s heal the negativity in the spirit and share optimism and a welcoming attitude. Human psyche does not evolve or grow with hate or anger. Those emotions take us into destructive behavior. It is only through connections and camaraderie that we experience contentment and happiness that can be complemented by creative solitude.
“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” ~~ Joyce Meyer, American author
As a psychologist in private practice since 1979, Janan Broadbent, Ph. D. offers individual, couples, group and family therapy, in addition to conducting workshops on topics such as stress management, communication skills and assertiveness. She writes about current issues relevant to relationship building and conflict resolution in LGBTQ and minority populations, with emphasis on health, fitness and education.
Born in Turkey, Dr. Broadbent earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1965. At that time, first as a Fulbright Scholar, then as a CENTO Fellow, she received her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology and education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology at St.Mary's College of Maryland, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins University and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. From 1981 to 1988, she was also the Director of Counseling at Notre Dame College.
While in graduate school, Dr. Broadbent worked for the Voice of America radio program, writing and recording materials on the cross-cultural college experience. She has been interviewed on various news programs on TV and has received media training.
Dr. Broadbent is a member of the American Psychological Association and has served as the chair for the Public Affairs Board and as a member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Psychological Association.
Dr. Broadbent's office is located at:
Village of Cross Keys, 120 West Quadrangle, 2 Hamill Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210-1847 phone: 410-825-5577