How to Give a Top-Notch Apology

Forgiveness is a concept that gets thrown around by self-help gurus once every few years. The focus, however, is usually on the importance of letting go of resentment and forgiving those who have wronged us to spare our own mental health. Less frequently do we turn that lens inward and think about the ways we have harmed others, and how to ask for forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes, but practicing forgiveness toward others can often be easier than admitting that it is we who were wrong. Even more challenging is mastering the aspects of a good apology. So the next time you stick your…

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Making Friends with Anger: How Anger Serves Us

Most of us receive societal messages that insist that anger is only the purview of men, who are permitted a range of angry expression, from screaming, to punching drywall, to fistfights. For everyone else, society says, anger is a negative emotion that must be suppressed. Thus, many women and nonbinary people struggle with expressing or even recognizing anger when they first begin therapy. While anger can certainly be unpleasant to feel, it is not a "negative" emotion. It is a neutral emotion, and like any other emotion, it's a signal to us. The message embedded in anger is, essentially: You can't treat me…

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Love vs Lashing Out: Doing Conflict without Drama

Most people loathe or are even afraid of conflict. And for good reason: most people don’t handle it well-- and that goes for both others and ourselves! We have had plenty of bad past experiences with conflict, and very few (if any) good experiences, and so we associate conflict with negativity and drama. We may be afraid that the other person will yell at us or we may lose the relationship. We may be afraid of the uncomfortable feelings that conflict gives rise to within us. We may not like who we become during conflict; reactive, angry, defensive or obsequious. And so we…

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