Escaping The Narcissist Monster

NarcissistThe Narcissist monster belongs under your bed, not in it.

Tomorrow marks the publication of a new book by Jeffrey Kluger, senior editor and science writer at Time magazine: The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed-in Your World

Kluger points out that we’re all sociopaths in the beginning:

“Small children, by their very nature, are moral monsters. They’re greedy, demanding, violent, selfish, impulsive and utterly remorseless.

…They expect to be adored but not disciplined, rewarded but never penalized, cared for and served by parents and family without caring or serving reciprocally.”

This is narcissistic psychopathology only when we fail to outgrow it. [Read more...]


Dating On Tinder: A Case Study

TinderLongtime reader Jenna recently approached me for coaching based on a post I wrote characterizing Tinder as an app that is bringing back traditional dating, at least for some of its users. Jenna, who’s in her mid-20s, wants to meet new people but isn’t interested in traditional online dating.

Among her friends, there’s considerable buzz around Tinder, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel. Each of these sites pulls data in from your Facebook account and shows any connections within your social circle. As a result, the demographics skew quite young. And it’s less intimidating for women to meet strangers who have friends or acquaintances in common.

Jenna signed up for all three apps but liked the volume of potential choices on Tinder. She found the app really fun and somewhat addictive. Because there’s no rejection, Tinder eliminates approach anxiety for guys and girls don’t feel any obligation to communicate with anyone they’re not interested in. [Read more...]


How to Use Silence Strategically in Dating

silence in conversationSilence can be powerful, strong and authoritative. It can communicate more than a thousand words. Silence can demonstrate that you are not to be messed with. It can represent resistance, disdain, indifference or even outright rejection. It can prompt others to rethink their position. Silence can give you time to reflect. It can be a simple pause in a conversation that has not concluded. Ultimately, silence is the only way to halt a discussion you do not want to have.

In our culture we tend to demonize silence as a way of being uncooperative. We believe that it is rude to be unresponsive. Some people cannot ignore a ringing phone or knock at the door, even though these attempts to reach them are uninvited. Good manners dictate that we answer emails within 24 hours. We accuse others of screening our calls as if it is our right to connect with someone at the time of our choosing. We don’t acknowledge that a ringing bell, a beep, a knock – are all interruptions. I’ve seen this compulsion to respond taken to ridiculous lengths around texting in particular. [Read more...]


Past Relationships May Lower Marital Quality

What happens in VegasI’ll be away for a much needed vacation the the fam next week. Regular posting will resume after Labor Day. Enjoy these last days of summer!

The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia has just issued Before I Do, a report on how premarital experiences influence marital quality later. It reveals some interesting findings about previous sexual experiences and relationships.

The researchers looked at 2008 data from the Relationship Development Study, including more than 400 recently married individuals. Their conclusion:

“What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, so to speak. Our past experiences, especially when it comes to love, sex, and children, are linked to our future marital quality.”

[Read more...]


Your Future Spouse Is In Your Social Network

In their book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How they Shape Our LivesChristakis and Fowler share this impressive statistic:

“Our social networks function quite efficiently as matchmaker, even when we insist we are acting out our own private destiny.”

If you know 20 people, and each of them knows 20 people, then three degrees of separation connect you to 8,000 people. And one of them is likely to be your future spouse.

One of the strongest influences on assortative mating is our propensity to surround ourselves – to several degrees of separation – with people very much like us. We hang out with people we study with, work with, and live near. Social media accounts magnify that influence, as we become loosely but officially connected to many friends of friends.

Social Networks Promote Assortative Mating

Marrying assortatively, or homogamously, is strongly preferred by individuals. According to the Chicago Sex Survey (The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, University of Chicago Press, 1994): [Read more...]