People get their panties up in the HUGEST bunch when I have the nerve to say things like, "I love the way I look," or, "I'm really good at sports." It's like a trigger -- without knowing anything about me, or even finishing the article, they decide I'm "arrogant" and "vain" and "narcissistic."
But I'm actually not. (Seriously -- I checked. According to Dr. Craig Malkin's Rethinking Narcissism, I score very highly on "healthy self-regard," but pretty low on "narcissism.")
"I peed on the campfire last night, and it steamed my lady parts," I told my backpacking companions last night, in what I thought would be a helpful contribution to a conversation about relieving oneself in nature.
The response was one I'd already heard several times that weekend: "Eva! You're... something else."
I suppose it could be argued that I'm socially awkward -- though I definitely don't feel that way. And I'm pretty sure most people don't see me that way. Why? Just because you say and do awkward things... doesn't mean you have to be awkward or unpleasant to be around.
Sometimes, spaces look playful... but you can't actually play in them. image: reddit
Don't get me wrong. I love ball pits as much as the next guy. I spent pretty much every afternoon of my childhood at Chuck E. Cheese (and, unlike kids today, I actually got to run around and play by myself while the parents drank pitchers of beer). I'm all about play, and I'm stoked that so many Silicon Valley startups want ball pits.
But here's the thing: many designers and office managers think their job is complete once they've got that ball pit installed.
Creating a playful office space requires more than that.
Being driven by a desire to win means that when you achieve your goal, you’ll feel joy. Being driven by a fear of failure means when you succeed, you’ll feel relief.
Whether training for your high school swim team or trying to make it to the pros, you've probably experienced a plateau. All athletes do! There are tons of physical reasons -- and one very mental reason -- why this happens.
You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Which is why I'm taking the time to point out some of the reasons that words are not violence -- and that there is truth to the old rhyme, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
"Required, ongoing, cultural competency training for all Academy employees" is dangerous and unethical.
I am a proud member of the Exeter alumni community -- see also: What it's Like to Go to Phillips Exeter Academy, the "Best High School in the Country". Exeter made me a thinker. It made me a listener. It made me unafraid to share my opinions. The Harkness Method of teaching, in which every class is a debate, a dialectic, or a discussion, was a foundational part of who I am now.
And now, due to an ill-informed Change.org petition, the future of that is at risk.
In the last week, I've heard three different people claim that comparing yourself to others is somehow bad -- one even did it in a comment on my recent post, 3 Scientifically Proven Ways to STOP Caring What Others Think About You and Live a Happier Life.
But here's the thing. Comparing yourself to others, done correctly, is probably the best way to learn, improve, and build up your own confidence. Here's why:
If You’re Not a Psychologist, “Positive Reinforcement” Probably Means the OPPOSITE of What You Think It Does
“You’re a very positive person.”
“He has a lot of negative traits.”
“You have to weigh the positive and the negative aspects.”
In English, we use the words “positive” and “negative” all the time. Colloquially, these words often mean “good” and “bad.” But in psychology, that’s not what they mean.
Fun fact: the other day, some crazy lady on the internet went haywire (or should I say... sleigh-wire?) at me because of a Facebook comment... about Santa. It wasn't the kind of "holiday cheer" I normally feel this time of year... but it did make me chuckle.
It also made me think -- should parents tell their kids about Santa? And as a psychologist, I'm pretty sure the answer is yes. Here's why:
A good thinker is someone who thinks flexibly. Not only do they back up their opinions with information and data – but they are also willing to adjust and reexamine their opinion when new information becomes available.
That’s why I had an open mind when Ruth Whippman, author of America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks, published Actually, Let’s Not Be Mindful in the New York Times this week.
But after reading her article carefully, I’m still pretty convinced that mindfulness is the best thing ever.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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