Upward social comparison is sometimes really useful. It can give us information about what we want to be doing more of and serve as a motivator, like when you notice that your friend Joe is great at getting to the gym more frequently than you, and you try to be more like him. As we’ve all experienced, however, there can be a downside to upward social comparison.
Imagine your child is throwing an epic tantrum in the grocery store. You’re in line at the checkout counter, and he or she is demanding candy. The person ahead of you is taking forever, and people are beginning to stare. See if you can make this scenario real in your mind. Are you thinking, “How do I make this stop?” Are you wondering what other people are thinking? I want to share a simple practice for dealing with situations like this one that make parenting enormously stressful.
Acceptance is an evocative word. It can imply resignation, giving up, or giving in to terrible circumstances. The practice of saying yes is not that kind of acceptance. It’s being willing to have what’s already there, whether inside of you or in the outside world.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 40-50 percent of marriages today end in divorce. The reasons for these dismal statistics are varied, but the good news is that with commitment and work, couples can beat the odds. One of the most highly respected, extensively researched approaches to couples counseling is the Gottman Method. Through decades of research, including studies of more than 3000 couples, the Gottmans discovered that there are certain factors, or key predictors, that contribute to the success or failure of a relationship.