On (un)Happiness

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner.

This collection is partly about those things, and that room in your heart...

"Strange, how we decorate pain.”

Margaret Atwood, Morning in the Burned House.

... but it is also about that pain, and all it's strange decorations.

In this collection:

What lies beneath? The uncomfortably vague 'unconscious processes'. cover image

What lies beneath? The uncomfortably vague 'unconscious processes'.

June 18, 2020 by Dorian Minors

The least endearing parts of ourselves are often ascribed to 'unconscious processes'. But these processes are typically very poorly defined. With anything so poorly defined, when we turn to face it, we are stymied; we don't know what we're up against. So let's get a better idea.

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Why being sad isn't always a bad thing cover image

Why being sad isn't always a bad thing

April 7, 2020 by Dorian Minors

A great deal is made about depression these days. Depression is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. Anxiety is on the rise. It's alarming, and it often dominates the headlines. Most egregious is the claim that 'perhaps young people these days are too fragile'. It's not just a deflection of responsibility. What this new media narrative misses is that it's OK to be sad sometimes. In fact, some would say that being sad can actually be a good thing.

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On attraction and love cover image

On attraction and love

March 13, 2020 by Dorian Minors

Much is written on the subject of attractiveness. It has become synonymous with beauty. Attractive celebrities, attractive influencers, attractive art. And through this myopic lens, attraction becomes something ugly. Something that people have or do not have. Something to be jealous of. Something to be torn down. But it doesn't have to be. It can actually be something very beautiful indeed.

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Is modern life really the problem? A return to nature probably won’t solve it. cover image

Is modern life really the problem? A return to nature probably won’t solve it.

February 22, 2020 by Dorian Minors

The movie Captain Fantastic portrays a sort of scenario I think many of us have entertained at one time or another. Pack a knife, some food, and a bag full of books and gap it into the wilderness. Live off the land, and indulge our atavistic tendencies – a simpler, more fulfilling life. Probably too simple…

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Why catharsis is a (dangerous) lie cover image

Why catharsis is a (dangerous) lie

February 24, 2019 by Dorian Minors

Aristotle used the term catharsis to describe the 'purge' of emotions by indulging in them. Then we made it into a theory. But 'venting' your emotions doesn't fix them, it just makes it worse. Much worse.

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Learned helplessness is darker (and less understood) than you think cover image

Learned helplessness is darker (and less understood) than you think

May 3, 2018 by Dorian Minors

As a psychological theory, 'learned helplessness' has an even worse origin story than the grittiest Batman reboot you can imagine. But the story also has a deeper meaning that's often lost in the telling.

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The most powerful way to get someone to like you, is to like them first cover image

The most powerful way to get someone to like you, is to like them first

April 23, 2018 by Dorian Minors

One of our most powerful urges is to be liked. Strange to find, then, that one of the most powerful influences on our likeability is whether others think we like them—‘reciprocal liking’.

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Why your unconscious isn't the bad guy cover image

Why your unconscious isn't the bad guy

January 24, 2018 by Dorian Minors

The idea that humans are on autopilot a lot of the time is not new psychological research, and it's probably not new to you. So many of the self-improvement soundbites that are written and rewritten in our media feeds revolve around the idea that freedom comes from unchaining ourselves from the routines of the everyday. But, something very valuable gets lost in these pithy reminders.

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Coming apart - the pattern of relationship breakdown cover image

Coming apart - the pattern of relationship breakdown

July 8, 2015 by Dorian Minors

Making and keeping our connections to others remains one of the fundamental arts we learn in life. And having a stickybeak into other people's relationships is one of the fundamental past times. This isn't always so gratifying though, because relationships don't always work out. This is how that looks.

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Are people always shutting you down? This might be why (and the reason might surprise you) cover image

Are people always shutting you down? This might be why (and the reason might surprise you)

February 20, 2015 by Dorian Minors

Do people shut you down very often? Hurt your feelings, insult you and your ideas? Well, maybe it's not so simple as being around bad people. Maybe there's something more sinister going on...

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The Difference Between Anger, Hurt and Hate--it's about power cover image

The Difference Between Anger, Hurt and Hate--it's about power

February 3, 2015 by Dorian Minors

Emotions motivate us to act. They perform a regulatory function, in guiding us how to respond to something. In this article, we talk about three key negative emotions, why they are so different and just what they're motivating us to do.

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