Ask Dr. J

Ask Dr. J

by Janan Broadbent, Ph.D

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Long and Short of It

Stability and success – Two different dimensions

Huzzah! This issue of Baltimore OUTloud proudly celebrates 15 years in publication. It’s no small feat to survive when you have a defined audience and to go through the worst economic crisis in the history of these U.S. Especially so when we see the decline in staff and demand for print media. But, now in the long-to-be-remembered words of an unnamed (!) person, “Nevertheless, she persisted!”

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lies and Untruths

The White House? No, your relationship!

Lying is one of those powerful words that did not use to be thrown around too frequently, though more easily used in the personal context. The influence of social media brought in a more user-friendly version of the concept. Anonymously, people could hurl this accusation around in addition to personal insults. Then came that moment when a congressman yelled, “You lie!” to the highest office holder in this land and in the world. Maybe that is when, paradoxically, there was a crumbling of the strong effect of this word.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Blind Spots Anyone?

And how to see them

Have you had discussions or arguments with others when one person or both are said to be “not listening”? When you hear that said to you, what do you think? Do you take it seriously and take it to heart? We all have blind spots. With some, those take up a huge area of their self-concept and thereby impede understanding why one does or says things unintentionally. Put another way, it ends up with a person not expressing what they feel or believe, again unconsciously.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Loss for One, Loss for All?

What happens when a person in a relationship has to be a caretaker, or experiences a loss so that their focus shifts away from the partner? Under the best of circumstances, much mental, and oftentimes physical, energy would be directed elsewhere. Sometimes it also means financial resources are taken away from the home front. How does one deal with the sense of not being as directly emotionally or physically involved?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Solitude in a Relationship

Do you see solitude and relationships as compatible or mutually exclusive concepts? Over the years, I’ve known a number of people whose partnerships broke up due to disagreements, death, or entanglements with others. Some immediately sought another connection. By immediately, I mean in the next week, if not the next day. Those were people who just could not imagine life without a partner, and “needed” someone there for their emotional (and perhaps social or financial) support. Those connections had a faulty basis: If need is why you seek a person, you set yourself up for dependence – which in turn, fosters resentment sooner or later. Those negative feelings may come from the one who is needy, recognizing that there is that kind of need, or it may come from the one who is providing the support, who then feels the burden.

Unless you live in some remote, non-wifi location, it is not possible to get away from the general feeling of anxiety, worry and fear not only in our country but also in the world. The LGBTQ community, as well as those who are related to it, and many others to be sure, is even more affected by the recent developments in this regard.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Passion: Need More or Less?

Both in the relationship and in career / work-life contexts, passion is mentioned as a desirable characteristic and feeling. Merriam Webster defines passion as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” There is much research on the desirability of passion towards one’s career and job and how it leads to a happier work situation. When it comes to passion in a relationship, what we are talking about? It’s intensity of feeling, and not only necessarily in a sexual state. The question is: How passionate do you want your partner to be, and how passionate are you?


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