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Ask Dr. J

Ask Dr. J

by Janan Broadbent, Ph.D

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.

Thursday, February 16, 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?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hibernate and Connect

Winter is the season all living beings including homo sapiens tend to mentally go into themselves and basically hibernate. It is a time of reflection and the physical body wants to hold on to all of its resources. Leftover from eons ago, our biological mechanisms conserve energies to get ready, in the spring, for another cycle of re-growth and new beginnings. So how do we handle our relationships within this framework?

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