Admitting you’re wrong isn’t easy. It can be especially difficult if we have acted in a way that has hurt ourselves or others. As a result, we often rationalise obvious mistakes and try to justify the unjustifiable. My latest column suggests a different approach: hold your beliefs lightly and embrace the inevitability of wrongness.
04. May 2023
Imagine you are a member of a cult that believes the world will end at a specific time on a specific day. How do you respond when the world doesn’t actually end?
Do you acknowledge you were wrong? Or do you do some mental gymnastics and say that actually, you weren’t wrong at all?
My latest column explores a famous study which examined cult behaviour, and explains why it's important to be honest with ourselves and to resist the temptation to rationalise when faced with uncomfortable situations.
We’ve all heard the line about trying to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, but I came across a different variant on it recently – one that may make you more open to the idea of making a change in your life.
Why do some people seem to enjoy hurting others? It's a complicated question, but my latest column looks at one simple factor that is often overlooked – boredom.
My last column explored the issue of anger – the different ways anger is manifested, the various factors that drive it, and the negative consequences associated with anger problems. This week, let’s look at specific steps on how to better manage your anger.
Do you often worry or feel bad about your anger? Have other people expressed concern about it? Has your anger resulted in conflict in your personal or professional life? In the first of two columns, I discuss the importance of anger management.
Many people are uncomfortable with having mixed feelings, with ambivalence. This is often seen in relationships. A person might say, “I really like my partner but he does some things which really annoy me. I wish I didn’t have these contradictory feelings, maybe he’s not right for me”.
In reality, it's normal to have mixed feelings, whether about your partner, your family, your work, your friends. My latest column explores why it's important to learn to tolerate ambivalence.
Do you think you are more moral than most people? I'm guessing you do, because research shows most people think they are more moral than others. And yet, that's a statistical impossibility - we can't all be more moral than each other! It’s nice to think well of ourselves, of course, but my latest column explores why we need to be careful here; like beauty, morality can be in the eye of the beholder.
Negative, unhelpful and fearful thinking patterns can breed a host of mental health problems, so why not aim to be a more calm, balanced thinker in 2023? My latest Southern Star column offers some cognitive tips to get you started.
One reason why most people don’t stick to their new year’s resolutions is they aim too high, setting difficult and unrealistic goals. However, making positive changes doesn’t have to be a daunting affair. Here are some simple behavioural ideas on how to improve your mental health and be a little bit happier in 2023.