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I wrote about the increase in the numbers of “queen bees” in the workplace, women who aim to undermine or push aside their female employees out of insecurity, competitiveness, or some inherent unwillingness to help other women. As more and more females rise to management positions, their same-sex employees are reporting with greater frequency incidents of bullying, verbal abuse, and job sabotage. This may be why, according to Gallup, American employees prefer their bosses male, and not by a small margin.

But while it’s easy—or at least commonplace—to blame women on top for being over-demanding despots and unwilling mentors, is that the reality? Not quite. The truth is that intolerance among women is entirely mutual, and women are just as difficult for women to employ as they are for women to report to.

Female subordinates are often less respectful of, and deferential to, their female bosses than they are to their male bosses. They question more, push back, and expect a certain level of familiarity or camaraderie that they don’t expect from the men. This speaks to the long tradition of women being notoriously hypercritical of one another, an assertion proven by science: a study published in the journal Psychological Science concluded that women form a negative view of other women in their lives—including friends, co-workers, and, yes, bosses—far more quickly and freely than men do of other men.

Research confirms that female employees hold their female managers to different standards than they do their male managers, as noted in a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Management. They’re more likely to reject female bosses who behave in a traditionally managerial way, or “like a man,” but when the manager is a man? Not an issue. This may be because we’re still stuck on old societal expectations about the role of women serving men. Or it may be that some women use the occasion of a female boss’s success to turn the critical eye on themselves. When that doesn’t feel good, they turn it back on “the bitch in the corner office.”.

Being a female boss is a classic Catch-22. For women to succeed, they have to be different, extraordinary, and not too emotional. But for them to be respected by their female employees, it seems these women also need to be relatable, likable, and “just like everyone else.” When they’re not, there’s major backlash.

There are many women who fit the profile of the queen bee. But women are also likely to label one another as such when they aren’t, according to the British Journal of Management study. Women often expect women bosses to run the office like they might run a household. When they run it like an actual business many women feel betrayed. Do successful women have an obligation to be liked? No more so than successful men. Nor do they have a responsibility to represent all women, or even some women. As we look at the rise of females in charge, there’s been speculation of a future of kinder, gentler work environments. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won’t. But guaranteed, the onus isn’t on the queen bee alone. It’s on her worker bees as well.

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Jul 17

By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor

When an offending party apologies for their transgressions, a victim’s recovery is accelerated and the victim is more inclined to forgive and forget.

New research from the University of Miami investigates the psychological process that makes forgiveness happen.

Investigators discovered peacemaking efforts such as apologies, offers of compensation, and owning up to one’s responsibility increase forgiveness — and reduce anger — by making the aggressor seem more valuable as a relationship partner and by causing the victim to feel less at risk of getting hurt again by the transgressor.

“All of the things that people are motivated to do when they have harmed someone they care about really do appear to be effective at helping victims forgive and get over their anger,” said Dr. Michael McCullough, professor of psychology and principal investigator of the study.

“People often think that evolution designed people to be mean, violent, and selfish, but humans need relationship partners, so natural selection probably also gave us tools to help us restore important relationships after they have been damaged by conflict.”

For the study, 356 young men and women completed questionnaires, as well as an eight-minute interview about the transgression they had experienced and their feelings toward the person who had harmed them.

The participants also spent four minutes preparing a short, first-person speech about the transgression and the transgressor; they then delivered the speech into a video camera, as if the camera were the person who had harmed them.

Finally, the participants completed a 21-day online survey to measure forgiveness.

To describe their feelings about their aggressors, respondents chose from a list of statements such as “I’m trying to keep as much distance between us as possible,” “I’m going to get even,” “he/she wants our conflict to be over,” and “he/she does not intend to wrong me again,” among others.

“It’s one of the largest, longest, and, we think, most definitive studies of the effects of conciliatory gestures on human conflict resolution ever conducted,” McCullough said.

The findings show that the extent to which a transgressor offered conciliatory gestures to their victims was directly proportional to the extent to which those victims forgave over time.

Conciliatory gestures also appeared to change the victim’s perceptions about the relationship and the aggressor.

One basic scientific implication of the results is that humans have a psychology for conflict resolution that is very much analogous to the psychology that other non-human group-living animals have for restoring valuable relationships.

“Many group-living vertebrates, but particularly mammals, seem to use ‘conciliatory gestures’ as signals of their desire to end conflict and restore cooperative relationships with other individuals after aggressive conflict has occurred,” McCullough said. “We seem to have a similar psychology as well.”

The study, “Conciliatory gestures promote human forgiveness and reduce anger,” is now published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The next step for the researchers is to conduct experimental work.

If the apparent associations of conciliatory gestures with more forgiveness and perceived relationship value (as well as with less anger and perceived exploitation risk) really are cause-and-effect relationships, it should be possible to make people more forgiving in the laboratory through apologies, offers of compensation, and other conciliatory gestures.

The researchers would also like to see if it’s possible to build “cultures of forgiveness” by experimentally building up relationship value and reducing the risks of interactions with anonymous strangers who are interacting within groups.

Source: University of Miami

Jul 15

Delusions of the Codependent



Delusions of the CodependentOne of the most painful moments for a codependent is when he or she realizes that a relationship is not going to work out as imagined. Facing the end of a relationship is stressful for most people, and it is normal and natural to do whatever we can to keep a relationship going. But a codependent (and particularly one who is also a love addict) will typically go above and beyond what most people will do to help a relationship succeed, giving far more effort, time, energy, attention, and other resources than their partner does.

They often end up feeling angry, resentful, exhausted, lonely, and bitter. Sometimes they become martyrs, complaining about how much they’ve done and how little they are loved, appreciated, or getting in return. And every now and then they will do really desperate things to try to control the outcome.

When the relationship finally fails, they are overwhelmed with grief and guilt, and may spend a great deal of time obsessing about what they could or should have done differently. Sometimes they beg their partners to try again, or begin seducing them back with loving words or actions, or by being sexual or helpless. All of these behaviors are desperate attempts to get things to work in their favor.

Here are some of the things I’ve done to try to keep a relationship from ending:

Begged or pleaded.
Became inconsolable.
Threatened my partner’s future by saying things such as “you’ll be sorry”; “you’re making a terrible mistake”; “you’re going to regret this”; and “you’ll never find anyone like me.”
Tried to make my partner feel responsible for and guilty about my future by saying things such as “I’ll never be able to love again”; “I’ll never be happy again”; “I don’t know how I’ll go on”; “What will I do without you?”
Became depressed (once I even became suicidal).
Came up with things we could do differently, over and over again, so the relationship became on-again, off-again rather than ending with dignity/
Refused to speak up for what I wanted in the relationship and instead allowed my partner to make the decision about whether the relationship was going to work.
Became seductive in the hopes that sex could keep things going.
Said I was pregnant when I was not in the hopes that a pregnancy could keep things going (I planned to say I had a miscarriage later).
Kept myself financially dependent on my partner so I could not leave the relationship.
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
It’s humiliating to admit that I’ve done these things. And it’s very important in recovery to take a hard and honest look at our behavior so we have a hope of stopping the madness.

The reasons for being this out of control are completely understandable.

Codependents have an overdeveloped belief in their own power to produce results in other people’s beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. This is one of the fundamental symptoms of codependency.

In all fairness, this “belief” isn’t always conscious. It originates in (where else?) childhood experiences, where we came to believe that we had the power to make our parents happy, angry, sad, or ashamed because of our behavior.

Did you ever hear your parents say something like “you’re making me so angry” or “you’re making us look bad” or anything else that might have given you the impression that your behavior or even your very being had the ability to change the feelings, behavior, or opinions of other people? I got messages like that frequently, and often not explicitly, but implied.

My behavior in church, school, or public places would make my parents proud or embarrassed. My compliance with the rules of our religion had the ability to save my entire family or ruin everything for eternity.

Without realizing it, I grew up subconsciously believing that I had a great deal of power over others. All I had to do was be good and do the right thing, and everyone would be happy, loving, and stay together forever. Sounds simple enough, right?

Many codependents also have abandonment issues, having been neglected or abused in childhood. When the fear of relationship abandonment creeps up, they will do anything to keep it intact, even if the relationship itself isn’t very fulfilling.

Anything at all is better than being alone, or so we tell ourselves. This is where love addiction and codependency begin to overlap. Love addiction is a subset of codependency where the need to be in a relationship takes on addictive characteristics.

Codependents lack healthy inner boundaries. The inner boundary contains us, allowing us to share our reality appropriately. It allows us to consider whether our words, tone, manner, intensity, intention, and content are appropriate.

When our inner boundary is too rigid we hold things inside and don’t share at all. We have a wall up and nothing can get out. When our inner boundary is too loose or nonexistent, we spew on others, giving far more than they need or want, often causing harm.

When the other person in a relationship fails to respond to our needs, treats us disrespectfully, ignores us, is dishonest or hides themselves from us, cannot or will not be open and vulnerable with us, blames us for their problems, will not be responsible for their behavior, or simply tells us they are no longer interested in a relationship, the best thing to do is accept the truth of that person’s words and actions and do things that show care and concern for our self-esteem. Developing healthy self-esteem is the first action toward recovery for a codependent regardless of their relationship’s status.

When someone in recovery talks about self-love, it takes a while before the words develop into more than just a concept. Here is what has worked for me to bring the idea of self-love into practice:

Take a moment and see yourself as you were when you were a child, maybe 3 or 4 years old. See that little child standing in front of you. See how small he or she is, how sweet and innocent. This child has curiosity, energy, enthusiasm, ideas. He or she has fears, pain, anger, shame. He or she feels love, joy, excitement, passion.

If he or she could talk to you, what would he or she say? What would he or she like to do? What does he or she need?

Find the child within and pay attention. Give him or her what he or she wanted so badly when he or she was actually little. Take off the mask and cape you’ve been wearing trying to save a relationship and tend to your inner child. Isn’t it time that someone finally loves him or her?

Jul 5

7 Things Not To Do When You’re Sleep Deprived


Just one night of sleep deprivation can set you up for everyday missteps we’d all rather avoid.

You know getting too little sleep makes you tired and crabby and hungry and forgetful. But other than waking up on the wrong side of the proverbial bed, how bad is the occasional sleep-deprived day, really?

It turns out just a little bit of extra sleep goes a long way in protecting your health, boosting your memory and keeping you safe from potentially-fatal events like heart attacks and car accidents.

Just one night of sleep deprivation can also set you up for a number of everyday missteps we’d all rather avoid. Here are a few of those things you shouldn’t do when you haven’t had enough sleep.


You wouldn’t get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, but you also shouldn’t get behind the wheel without your 40 winks. In a 2012 study, researchers found that drunk and sleepy drivers are both at least twice as likely to be responsible for an accident, Reuters reported. “We know from experimental studies that just four hours of sleep loss will produce as much impairment as a six pack,” Christopher Drake, an associate scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit, told Reuters.

But it’s not just sleepy car drivers who should hand over the keys. Pilots, train operators and truck drivers all report errors on the job due to sleepiness, including “near misses,” according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Make Important Decisions

There’s a biological reason that something seems like a good idea when you’re tired, when it might not actually be the best bet. In a 2011 study, researchers observed increased brain activity in areas that assess positive outcomes after sleep deprivation. There was also decreased activity in brain areas that assess negative outcomes. Essentially, then, skimping on sleep skews our decision-making powers toward the optimistic, and may therefore sway you toward signing the lease or taking the job without realistically weighing the pros and cons. The authors suggested changes in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine may play a role, the LA Times reported.

Go Grocery Shopping

You already know you shouldn’t fill up your cart when you’re hungry, but if you’re sleepy to boot, you’re in for some unwise choices: A 2013 study found that sleep-deprived shoppers purchased more and higher-calorie food than they would have during a well-rested trip to the supermarket. “We hypothesized that sleep deprivation’s impact on hunger and decision making would make for the ‘perfect storm’ with regard to shopping and food purchasing — leaving individuals hungrier and less capable of employing self-control and higher-level decision-making processes to avoid making impulsive, calorie-driven purchases,” author Colin Chapman, MSc, of Uppsala University, said in a statement. The men in the study loaded up their carts with 9 percent more calories and 18 percent more grams of food after a night of little sleep. “Our finding provides a strong rationale for suggesting that patients with concerns regarding caloric intake and weight gain maintain a healthy, normal sleep schedule,” Chapman said.

Or Online Shopping, For That Matter

If decision making is skewed and impulsiveness amplified, we think it’s safe to say that shopping decisions beyond groceries may also be affected. With more difficulty in the logical reasoning department and impaired judgement, the day after a night of fitful sleep isn’t the day to decide you’re going to buy that designer bag.

Grab An Energy Drink

Yes, you’re tired, but a brisk walk, a quick workout or a nap, if you can swing it, is a much wiser choice than the nearest caffeine jolt, considering the copious sugar and mysterious compounds in many popular energy drink brands. Plus, many cans contain surprisingly little actual caffeine, especially compared to a strong cup of coffee (not to mention real coffee boasts actual health benefits).

Brag About It

Perhaps nothing fosters an unhealthier sleep climate than participating in what HuffPost president and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington dubbed “sleep deprivation one-upmanship” in a 2010 TED Talk. In reality, a very select few of us are actual short sleepers, meaning we really can get by on just a few hours each night. The rest of us should help change the conversation about sleep by being more aware of the messages we send.

Pick A Fight

The morning after a night of tossing and turning is not the time to bring up that serious talk you’ve been meaning to have with your bed partner. That’s because you’re likely to be highly emotional when you’re lacking in sleep — and not in a good way. “It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” Matthew Walker, senior author of a 2007 study on the subject, said in a statement. The research found that sleep-deprived brains were 60 percent more reactive to negative and disturbing images, USA Today reported.

Jul 5

Survey on instant gratification


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