• What’s the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath?
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    Psychology Today


    Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place for very long. It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules. In the eyes of others, sociopaths will appear to be very disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath, including murder, will tend to be haphazard and spontaneous rather than planned.

    Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature. When committing crimes, psychopaths carefully plan out every detail in advance and often have contingency plans in place. Unlike their sociopathic counterparts, psychopathic criminals are cool, calm, and meticulous.

    I got this question again today — it’s actually quite a common question from clients struggling to wrap their heads around the senselessly destructive actions of people in their lives. And, it’s very worth understanding as the approach one has to take with these two types of individuals is VERY different.

    While offering about the clearest description out there, this author’s information is slightly dated. More current research is suggesting that Psychopaths actually have the ability to grasp the pain of others — and then selectively tune such out to do the destructive things they want to do. (It almost goes without saying that this is NOT improving the picture being painted in the slightest…)

    Read the whole article though — this guy gets it.

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  • Do you know what a healthy relationship looks like?
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    Psychology Today


    Human beings crave intimacy, need to love and be loved, and function best when they are. Yet people have much trouble maintaining relationships.
    It’s clear from the many letters I get to my advice column that lots of folks, men and women, have no idea what a healthy relationship even looks like. Because I write about these things, and care about the environments children grow in, I feel obligated to say something.

    From many sources and many experts over the years, I have culled some basic rules of relationships. This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it’s a necessary list. Print the rules out and pin them up on your refrigerator door. I won’t test you on them—but life will.

    – Choose a partner wisely and well. We are attracted to people for all kinds of reasons. They remind us of someone from our past. They shower us with gifts and make us feel important. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend: Look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others.

    – Know your partner’s beliefs about relationships. Different people have different and often conflicting ideas about relationships. You don’t want to fall in love with someone who expects dishonesty in relationships; they’ll create it where it doesn’t exist.

    – Don’t confuse sex with love. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love.

    – Know your needs and speak up for them clearly. A relationship is not a guessing game. Many people fear stating their needs and, as a result, camouflage them. The result is disappointment at not getting what they want and anger at a partner for not having met their (unspoken) needs. Closeness cannot occur without honesty. Your partner is not a mind reader.

    The whole list is pretty much right on point, worth reading and, if you are in the dating pool, possibly worth memorizing…

    It strikes me though that the above four rules alone, sadly, were ignored by a substantial percentage of the couples in our offices every week — all in the hopes that things would magically work out later.

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  • Do you sleep naked?
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    Mind Unleashed

    Image Credit: beautyheaven.com.au

    Image Credit: beautyheaven.com.au

    It appears that sleeping naked is not only sexy, but is also beneficial for one’s health. Here are five surprising (and scientifically confirmed) ways sleeping in your birthday suit can benefit your health and well-being:

    You know, the above linked list pretty much speaks for itself.

    Plus, doing so eliminates so many fights in therapists offices about his or her, “Flannel armour…”


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  • How to make a man love you.
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    Photo Credit: Just Ard Creative Commons.

    Photo Credit: Just Ard Creative Commons.

    Men who interacted with a responsive female individual perceived her as more feminine and as more sexually attractive than did men in the unresponsive condition. Women are more cautious than men when interpreting a stranger’s expressions of responsiveness, and their perceptions of the stranger, which were seemingly unaffected by perceived responsiveness, may reflect conflicting trends among different women. “Some women, for example, may interpret responsiveness negatively and feel uncomfortable about a new acquaintance who seems to want to be close. Such feelings may impair sexual attraction to this responsive stranger. Other women may perceive a responsive stranger as warm and caring and therefore as a desirable long-term partner,” Dr. Birnbaum elaborates.

    The third and final study tested the possibility that responsiveness may activate motivational mechanisms for men that fuel pursuit of either short-term or long-term sexual relationship opportunities. A female partner’s actual responsiveness led men to perceive her as more feminine, and consequently to feel more sexually aroused. Heightened sexual arousal, in turn, was linked to both increased perception of partner attractiveness and greater desire for a long-term relationship with that partner.

    It would be borderline absurd that this even needed to be published – much less researched – except that, after 42 years of radical feminist rhetoric, yes, it actually needed to be published:

    Ladies, would you like a man to want a chance at loving you? You don’t have to be his doormat, dominatrix or his sex toy.

    (That sound you hear — it’s your great grandmother laughing hysterically from her grave…)


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  • Is it all in his/her eyes?
    1 Comment on Is it all in his/her eyes?


    Science comes to dating: you can now definitively tell if the stranger in front of you is looking for a romantic connection, or simply wants sex. It’s all in their eye movement, researchers reveal.

    No matter how the two cross over, one is always more dominant, University of Chicago’s Stephanie Cacioppo, lead author on the study, writes.

    If your eyes make the split-second decision to make eye contact, it’s good news for the other person if they’re looking for an emotional connection. However, if you tend to wonder anywhere below the face, chances are you’re more in it for the sex.

    Obviously, this is science finally getting around to proving what we’ve always known.

    So few people ever bother to pay attention to this simple behaviour. Fewer still will admit to themselves that people make the decision whether to try and love you or use you within the first few seconds of meeting you and no amount of hoping or wishing will change that.

    Then they wonder why they were so deceived…

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  • Now that we’ve passed laws nearly everywhere…
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    The Register

    Recent legislation banning the use of handheld phones by drivers had basically no effect on the number of road accidents, according to a new study.

    “If it’s really that dangerous, and if even just a fraction of people stop using their phones, we would expect to find some decrease in accidents,” says professor Daniel Kaffine, who worked on the analysis. “But we didn’t find any statistical evidence of a reduction.”

    It seems that Kaffine and his colleagues took steps to iron out at least the most obvious extraneous factors. We are told:

    The researchers chose to look a relatively narrow window of time to reduce the number of other variables that might have an impact on accident rates, including the possible introduction of safer cars into the market, an economic recession that leads to a drop in overall driving, or other changes to state traffic laws.

    They also corrected their data to account for precipitation, which can cause more accidents; gas prices, which can affect how many vehicles are on the road; and other unobservable factors that may have influenced accidents.

    Once all these corrections had been made, the effect of banning handheld phone use at the wheel was found to be … zero.

    “Our results suggest that simply banning hand-held cellphone use may not produce the desired increase in traffic safety,” comments Kaffine, bluntly.

    It’s basically a waste of breath/keystrokes but it still needs to be said:

    Perhaps using activist funded, correlational studies done in contrived test situations as a foundation for passing legislation already used to extract millions of dollars in fines on almost the entirety of three continents without ever testing such to see if it did any good at all in the real world may not have been the best public safety strategy ever…

    But then, we elected the (statistical analysis skills devoid) people that bought into and passed those laws…

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  • If you can’t avoid it, here’s how to deal with iit…
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    The best way to reduce stress is, of course, to identify the source and get rid of it.

    If only this were possible.

    You can try to avoid people who stress you out, say ‘no’ to things you know will cause you stress, and generally do less stuff.

    Unfortunately, this is often out of the question or you would have already done it.

    So, here are 10 techniques you can use to deal with stress that you can’t avoid.

    None of this is rocket science — but it’s very well laid out and all in one place.

    And, it includes a link to some decent sleep training advice as well.

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  • And, from the, “Yes, they’re serious,” department…
    3 Comments on And, from the, “Yes, they’re serious,” department…


    According to Gerson, the effects of the lubricant depend on the woman; especially, on how each woman responds to marijuana itself. However, he ensures that one of its main characteristics is that it is relaxing. It has been designed to promote natural lubrication, reduce pain and tension and create the necessary relaxation to fully enjoy the sexual experience.

    Gerson says that the sensations it causes in women have been tested by a group of over 100 volunteers who, after trying the product, say they feel more fulfilled, have more complete sexual relationships and have achieved pleasure in the most sensitive parts of their body.

    “When they told me about it, I didn’t believe it, but I decided to try it,” says one of the women who tested the product in a video released by the manufacturer, in a true TV-shopping style. “Then I started to feel a special sensation throughout my whole body; it was great.” Another woman said that she experienced pleasure for more than 15 minutes continuously, with the feeling increasing gradually.

    Ok, on one level, this needed to be posted just to prove it exists.

    On another level, given that a large majority of pelvic floor pain is emotional in origin, this may have, “Effective treatment for vaginismus,” written all over it.

    If we can just get everyone to relax enough to let it be sold…

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  • So, are YOU meeting your goals?
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    Psychology Today

    One inherent problem with goal setting is related to how the brain works. Recent neuroscience research shows the brain works in a protective way, resistant to change. Therefore, any goals that require substantial behavioral change, or thinking-pattern change, will automatically be resisted. The brain is wired to seek rewards and avoid pain or discomfort, including fear. When fear of failure creeps into the mind of the goal setter, it becomes a “demotivator,” with a desire to return to known, comfortable behavior and thought patterns.

    Finally, there are psychological manifestations of not achieving goals that may be more damaging that not having any goals at all. The process sets up desires that are removed from everyday reality. Whenever we desire things that we don’t have, we set our brain’s nervous system to produce negative emotions. Second, highly aspirational goals require us to develop new competencies, some of which may be beyond current capabilities. As we develop these competencies, we are likely to experience failures, which then become de-motivational. Thirdly, goal setting sets up an either-or polarity of success. The only true measure can either be 100% attainment or perfection, or 99% and less, which is failure. We can then excessively focus on the missing or incomplete part of our efforts, ignoring the successful parts. Fourthly, goal setting doesn’t take into account random forces of chance. You can’t control all the environmental variables to guarantee 100% success.

    The other problem is that goals are often cast in the image of the ideal or perfection, which activates the self-judging thinking of “I should be this way.” This counteracts the positive need for self-acceptance.

    And if the goal is not attained, we can often engage in thinking we are failures, not good enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, etc. So the non-attainment of goals can create emotions of unworthiness.

    We’ve known since forever that rules and standards are there to be broken and practically command failure along with its associated payload of guilt, shame and fear.

    So, we’ve fixed that in our modern Churches and workplaces — we set goals instead. (Because changing semantics always fixes the human heart…)

    The above linked is a really solid explanation of why setting those goals not only doesn’t improve performance, it makes us into liars, backstabbers and people utterly oblivious to the wounded hearts of those who we just climbed over.

    In 1 Cor 3:6, Paul numbers himself among, “…ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” He might have been on to something there…

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  • How to find a mate for life.
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    Life Hack

    The first question I ask clients seeking a partner is, “who are you?” Then, I listen. People that have a confident and clear response to that question seem to do better when picking mates. When someone can tell me about themselves without hesitation and in detail, I can tell they know themselves well, which is a big part of choosing the right partner. The best answers are specific and unique to them as a person rather than general, such as mentioning qualities that apply to many people (i.e. I like to smile). If they look me in the eyes while describing themselves, even better. And the cherry on top is if they describe both positive and negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses. That shows they are ready to share life with another person without over-burdening them.

    The next list will be, based on your own qualities, what qualities will your partner have? Again, ditch the ideals. Imagine your day off. You wake up in your pajamas. What do you want to do? Who would want to do it with you? What would they be like? Are they introverted, extroverted? Do they like to eat in, dine out? Do they like the loud shows you go to, or do they prefer a quiet night of board games at home? How educated are they? How much money can they spend? Which do they prioritize more, family and relationships or their career? Write up the list of qualities that fit you in a partner. Then shave it down to only 10 qualities (I know, it’s hard). Separate the list into 3 parts: must haves, strong preferences and negotiables.

    This is a follow up to yesterday on how we end up marrying the wrong people.

    The above linked is simply a list of ways to end up marrying the right one. And to do so reasonably quickly…

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