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Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

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Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

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PsychNotes July 2010
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Clinical and Sport Psychologist

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JULY 29, 2010


In a mathematical mapping of the process of forgiveness, McCullough et.al. (2010) showed that forgiveness tends to increase as the length of time since the transgression increases and that people are more likely to be forgiving based upon the amount of value they give to the relationship with the offender.

McCullough, M.E., Luna, L.R., Berry, J.W., Tabak, B.A. and Bono, G. (2010). On the form and function of forgiving: Modeling the time-forgiveness relationship and testing the valuable relationships hypothesis. Emotion, 10, 2010, 358-376.

JULY 24, 2010


Weight loss is an elusive goal for many people. However, many people who attempt to lose weight may not have high self-efficacy regarding weight loss. In other words, those more likely to engage in the necessary weight loss behaviors are those who believe they are capable of losing weight. Yet, Linde et.al (2006) found that even high self-efficacy did not predict weight loss after active treatment. Possibly this may be due to the influence of the treatment itself upon self-efficacy.

Linde, J.A., Rothman, A.J., Baldwin, A.S., Jeffery, R.W. (2006). The impact of self-efficacy on behavior change and weight change among overweight participants in a weight loss trial. Health Psychology, 25, 282-291.

JULY 18, 2010


When couples who have minor relationship problems engage in direct negative behaviors such as rejection, criticism, blaming, and making demands they suffer more significant decreased satisfaction in their relationship than couples who are having more serious problems (McNulty and Russell, 2010).

Possibly, the difference could be due to couples willing to overlook negative behaviors when under considerable stress because they consider the behaviors unusual and forgivable. As a result, the behaviors are a release of emotions and tension which could have a positive overall effect. However, the same negative behaviors when there are only minor problems indicate more of a personality problem which is unacceptable to the partner and causes more dissatisfaction with the marriage.

McNulty, J.K. and Russell, V.M. (2010) When “negative” behaviors are positive: A contextual analysis of the long-term effects of problem-solving behaviors on changes in relationship satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 2010, 587-604.

JULY 13, 2010


Panic Disorder sometimes involves agoraphobia which is defined as the avoidance of situations due to the fear of having a panic attack. This avoidance may be due to fear that the panic attack will cause something bad such as having a car accident, fear of not having help, or fear of what others may think if they observe the panic attack.

Rosellini et.al. (2010) found that individuals who engage in agoraphobic avoidance are more likely to have an introverted personality style. This is consistent with the idea that they may be concerned about what others think if they have a panic attack. Unfortunately, the agoraphobic avoidance usually involves greater severity and interference with life functioning than Panic Disorder without avoidance.

Rosellini, A.J., Lawrence, A.E., Meyer, J.F. Brown, T.A. (2010). The effects of extraverted temperament on agoraphobia in panic disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 420-426.

JULY 10, 2010


Individuals with greater mental ability are generally more educated regarding success behaviors in health, work, and life and more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and to have greater occupational success. Therefore, they tend to have higher levels of satisfaction, better health, and greater financial well-being. However, these effects aren't necessarily due to the greater mental ability but due to engaging in behaviors that lead to success, health, and happiness.

Judge, T.A., Ilies, R. and Dimotakis, N. (2010) Are health and happiness the product of wisdom? The relationship of general mental ability to educational and occupational attainment, health, and well-being. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 454-468.

JULY 7, 2010


Not only do women diagnosed with breast cancer struggle with the physical consequences of the cancer and treatment, but they also experience significant anxiety and fearful thoughts that demand energy that is limited supply and that affect the quality of life. Research shows that group-based cognitive-behavioral stress management treatment can not only help women while going through cancer treatment but that the effects are beneficial for at least nine months after the treatment is completed.

Antoni, M. H., Wimberly, S. R., Lechner, S. C., Kazi, A., Sifre, T., Urcuyo, K. R., Phillips, K., Smith, R. G., Petronis, V. M., Guellati, S., Wells, K. A., Blomberg, B., & Carver, C. S. (2006). Stress management intervention reduces cancer-specific thought intrusions and anxiety symptoms among women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 1791-1797.

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