Psychology, What is... psychology series

What is… Competitiveness

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week's term is competitiveness. From an evolutionary perspective, competition is hardwired into us; living beings need to compete for limited resources in order to survive.  For most of us, though, that isn't too much of an issue, and the competitive… Continue reading What is… Competitiveness

Mental health, Psychology

Are You a Failure at a Task, or as a Person?

  Failure isn't fun.  There's just no two ways about that. But what does that failure mean?  I think that, particularly when mental illness is involved, it's easy to leap from "I failed at [X]" to "I'm a failure."  But taking a step back, they're not really the same thing. Fear of failure Fear of… Continue reading Are You a Failure at a Task, or as a Person?

Humanity & social relationships, Psychology

Ring Theory – How to Support Grieving People

Skinny Hobbit of Growing Into Myself recently did a post on ring theory, which I hadn't heard of before.  I was curious to learn more, and one of the sources she mentioned was an article on ring theory in the LA Times. Ring theory was developed by clinical psychologist Susan Silk.  After having breast cancer… Continue reading Ring Theory – How to Support Grieving People

graphic of hands with the words I am now, and holding a globe
Mental health, Psychology

What Does the Self Consist of?

What is it that makes you, you?  Is there even a self? A fundamental concept in Buddhism is non-self.  The word Anatta is used for the principle that "there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul" (Wikipedia).  The belief that there is a self is viewed as a source… Continue reading What Does the Self Consist of?

bank vault
Mental health, Psychology

What Do We Give Up For Safety?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown cautions that depression and anxiety may result when we trade in authenticity for safety.  This really resonated for me, as safety has become something that I grasp onto as tightly as possible wherever I can find it. Meg from Why does bad advice happen to good people? suggested when… Continue reading What Do We Give Up For Safety?

graphic of a head with cogs turning inside
Psychology, What is... psychology series

What is… a defense mechanism

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week's term is defense mechanisms. The concept of defense mechanisms was originally proposed by Sigmund Freud.  They're strategies that are used unconsciously in order to protect the ego when faced with uncomfortable feelings. A number of defense mechanisms have been… Continue reading What is… a defense mechanism

graphic of a head with cogs turning inside
Psychology, What is... psychology series

What is… the just world fallacy

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week's term is the just world fallacy. The just world fallacy, also known as the just world hypothesis, is a common type of cognitive bias – a shortcut that the mind unconsciously takes when considering the world around us. Do… Continue reading What is… the just world fallacy

Charles Manson mugshot
Psychology

Are “Psycho Killers” Psychotic?

They may not be politically correct, but the terms psycho killers and psychotic killers get tossed around rather freely.  Sometimes people will assume that to do horrific things people must be psychotic.  But is that accurate? The notion that behaviours that make no sense must come from psychosis may originate from a few different mistaken… Continue reading Are “Psycho Killers” Psychotic?

face red with anger
Psychology

How Childhood Affected My Relationship with Anger

I got thinking about this because I've seen a number of people write about anger recently, and it's not an emotion I've ever been comfortable with. Anger is a basic human emotion.  We all experience it sometimes, and it has an associated facial expression that is universally recognized across cultures.  Yet anger is far from… Continue reading How Childhood Affected My Relationship with Anger

two smiling stuffed toys- one says happy, the other says keep on smiling
Mental health, Psychology

How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?

The basic idea of positive psychology is a good one.  Who doesn't want to feel happier and the other positive emotions that go along with that? The essentials of positive psychology According to PositivePsychology.com, positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of life, including: "Positive experiences (like happiness, joy, inspiration, and love)" "Positive states and traits… Continue reading How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?

woman walking alone on a beach
Psychology

Alone, But Rarely Lonely

  Can you be alone without being lonely?  Or lonely without being alone?  I would say yes on both counts. Google gives this as the primary definition of lonely: "sad because one has no friends or company."  A secondary definition is "without companions; solitary."  For both definitions "alone" is listed as a synonym.  Google's definition… Continue reading Alone, But Rarely Lonely