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Psychology Today Blogs

Why Can’t We See Eye-to-Eye?
Posted: Jan 20, 2020

I hear it all the time: "My wife (brother, co-worker, etc.) just doesn’t get what I’m saying." Today's polarized political climate has exacerbated the issue.
There are a number of ways to effectively address these communication issues, therapy, role-pl...

Why Doesn’t Anyone Understand What I Want?
Posted: Feb 09, 2020

“I ask my kids/spouse/employees to do something and invariably, they always get it wrong and I have to end up doing it myself!”
We’ve all heard people say this, and probably have said this ourselves, but is it really the other ...

It’s Just Too Much
Posted: Mar 02, 2020

Today we have far more information than we have ever had. We used to have a handful of TV channels, now we have hundreds, not counting streaming services, and Facebook, etc. We used to have a daily paper (sometimes morning and evening editions), now we have the 24-hou...

How to Make an Important Decision
Posted: Mar 09, 2020

In our increasingly complicated world, we have so much information that we must wade through to make a decision. Today, we wouldn’t think of making a major purchase such as a car without looking online to see the price ranges in our area, and how much the various options cost. ...

Repairing and Rewiring the Brain
Posted: Jun 11, 2020

Perhaps the most rewarding part of my work is helping post-traumatic brain injury clients to regain astery of skills they thought were lost forever. Many of you may be familiar with this aspect of my work from Clark Elliott’s book, The Ghost in My Brain, about his nearly decade-long journey to recover from a concussion...

Why Do Smart People Do Dumb Things?
Posted: Jul 14, 2020

In the midst of all the turmoil in the world, I am often asked why normally intelligent, rational people make the decisions they make. When smart people make dumb mistakes, it usually isn’t because of stupidity, ignorance, or apathy. They make dumb mistakes because they’ve been ...

Why Do Smart People Do Dumb Things? Personality Plays a Role
Posted: Jul 15, 2020

Part 1 explored why smart people do highly questionable things. Part 2 delves deeper into how personality affects decision making.
As noted in Part 1, for some people, modifying a goal is the equivalent of admitting failure. And they will never admit failure. On...

Rewiring the Brain After Injury — What a Simple Drawing Says
Posted: Sep 29, 2020

2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. We have all had to make changes, in some cases significant changes, in the way we do things. Many of us have left our offices to work at home. Our children are also schooling fro...

A Problem Well-Stated Is a Problem Half-Solved
Posted Dec 29, 2020

Formal education trains people to be efficient, learning routines so that the tasks become hardwired. For example, once people learn to read, they automatically attempt to read when faced with text. The message may be indecipherable if written in an unfamiliar language, but in mo...

A Problem Well-Stated Is a Problem Half-Solved: The Options
Posted: Mar 5, 2021

My last blog provided an exercise with multiple solutions—but not the answers so that you would have the opportunity to try it for yourself. Herewith are the various possible answers and what they can tell about your thought processes. The exercise asks you to fill in the first and ...

Did I Already Do That?
Posted: May 24, 2021

We’ve all done it. Going through the motions of showering in the morning and not remembering whether you shampooed before you put in the conditioner. Meeting someone new, engaging in a whole conversation but unable to remember the person’s name afterward. Driving somewhere and then wondering how you got that ...

Organizing Chaos
Posted: Aug 20, 2021

Whether we know it or not, we categorize all the time. “You’re just like your mother!” “That’s like the pair I got in New York.” He’s the kind of doctor, lawyer, etc., who….” We do it with animate and inanimate objects as well as with ideas and other less tangible items—it’s just like the time you ...

The Feet Tell the Story
Posted: Nov 21, 2021

When each of us sits down, we navigate our feet to a position that feels comfortable, even if the seat we are in is uncomfortable. What we may not realize is that how we position our feet may affect our ability to think and ...

How to Think: Cracking the Code
Posted Jan 21, 2022

Technology can make us more efficient but not necessarily more effective. Our complex brains are what make us effective, but most of the time we don’t make good use of our ability to think. Thinking takes practic...

The Power of Words
Posted Aug 23, 2022

Words are enormously powerful tools that most people don’t fully appreciate. Although people recognize the importance of communication skills, they don’t necessarily grasp how to become more effective communicators...